6 times Michael Cohen directly contradicted Trump in his sworn testimony
Michael Cohen once said he would take a bullet for President Trump, but testifying before the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday, the president's now-disbarred lawyer painted a portrait of an employer who he described as a "racist," a "conman," and a "cheat." He also made quite a few allegations that were wildly different than what Trump has personally claimed in public.
But only one version can be the truth. Here are some of the biggest moments when Cohen and Trump's version of events diverged.
1. The Julian Assange question
Cohen: "He was a presidential candidate who knew that Roger Stone was talking with Julian Assange about a WikiLeaks drop of DNC emails."
Trump: "I don't know much about [Julian Assange], I really don't." [Nov. 20, 2018] CNN later reported: "President Donald Trump told Special Counsel Robert Mueller in writing that Roger Stone did not tell him about WikiLeaks ... according to two sources familiar with the matter." [Nov. 29, 2018]
2. The Stormy Daniels question
Cohen: "I am providing a copy of a $35,000 check that President Trump personally signed from his personal bank 14 account on August 1, 2017 — when he was president of the United States — pursuant to the cover-up, which was the basis of my guilty plea, to reimburse me — the word used by Mr. Trump’s TV lawyer — for the illegal hush money I paid on his behalf. This $35,000 check was one of 11 check installments that was paid throughout the year, while he was president."
Trump: "I never directed him to do anything wrong. Whatever he did he did on his own. ... I never directed him to do anything incorrect or wrong." [Dec. 13, 2018]
3. The auction question
Cohen: "Mr. Trump directed me to find a straw bidder to purchase a portrait of him that was being auctioned at an Art Hamptons Event. The objective was to ensure that his portrait, which was going to be auctioned last, would go for the highest price of any portrait that afternoon."
Trump: "Just found out that at a charity auction of celebrity portraits in E. Hampton, my portrait by artist William Quigley topped list at $60K." [July 16, 2013]
4. The Trump Tower meeting question
Cohen: In June 2016, Donald Trump Jr. "came into the room and walked behind his father's desk ... I recalled Don Jr. leaning over to his father and speaking in a low voice, which I could clearly hear, and saying: 'The meeting is all set.' I remember Mr. Trump saying, 'Ok good … let me know.'"
Trump: "Fake News reporting, a complete fabrication, that I am concerned about the meeting my wonderful son, Donald, had in Trump Tower. This was a meeting to get information on an opponent, totally legal and done all the time in politics — and it went nowhere. I did not know about it!" [Aug. 5, 2018]
5. The racism question
Cohen: "Mr. Trump is a racist ... [He] once asked me if I could name a country run by a black person that wasn't a 's--thole' ... While we were once driving through a struggling neighborhood in Chicago, he commented that only black people could live that way. And he told me that black people would never vote for him because they were too stupid."
Trump: "I am not a racist. I'm the least racist person you have ever interviewed." [Jan. 15, 2018]
7. The Russia question
Cohen: "I lied to Congress about when Mr. Trump stopped negotiating the Moscow Tower project in Russia. I stated that we stopped negotiating in January 2016. That was false — our negotiations continued for months later during the campaign."
Trump: "What do I have to do with Russia? You know the closest I came to Russia, I bought a house a number of years ago in Palm Beach, Florida." [July 27, 2016]