CNN has learned that Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen claims that Trump knew in advance of the 2016 Trump Tower meeting meant to gather damaging information on Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. While Cohen has no evidence to back up his allegation, he’s reportedly willing to make that assertion to Robert Mueller, special counsel for the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Cohen alleges that he was with Trump, among others, the moment when Donald Trump Jr. informed them of an offer from the Russians to receive dirt on Clinton. According to Cohen, Trump gave his approval to move forward with the meeting. His account differs from the one provided by Trump Jr., who previously claimed that his father was unaware of the meeting, and only became privy to the situation one year after it took place.
Cohen’s account is the latest in a long line of breadcrumbs that lead back to the belief that Trump was well aware of the 2016 meeting between members of his team and the Russians. In between phone calls with Emin Agalarov, the person who helped organize for Trump Tower meeting, Trump Jr. placed a call to a blocked number that lasted 11 minutes. While he maintains that he does not remember who he called, Trump’s campaign manager Corey Lewandowski raised a red flag when he said that Trump’s “primary residence has a blocked (phone) line” in his testimony to the House Intelligence Committee. On the day of the meeting, Trump was also in Trump Tower, even though he didn’t have any events planned.
Trump’s current personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani is already attempting to shoot down Cohen’s account, calling into question his credibility following the leak of recorded conversations between Trump and Cohen.