Speed Reads

Trump tweets

Trump has a new version of his business deals with Russia during the 2016 campaign

Early Friday, tweeting from Argentina, President Trump laid out a breezy new version of his interactions with Russia during the 2016 presidential election, following revelations from longtime lawyer Michael Cohen that Trump's company was negotiating the construction of a Trump Tower Moscow until mid-June 2016, that Cohen had updated him regularly on the progress of those talks, and reports that Cohen had proposed to Kremlin officials gifting Russian President Vladimir Putin a $50 million penthouse in the building.

Throughout 2016 and 2017, Trump had denied having any business dealings with Russia; on Thursday afternoon, he claimed Cohen is lying but said "there would have been nothing wrong if I did do it," because "when I'm running for president, that doesn't mean I'm not allowed to do business." Trump elaborated in his new tweets:

Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation will probably eventually show how much of Trump's new story is true. But it certainly seems false that he talked about exploring deals with Russia on the campaign trail. This is from his second debate with Hillary Clinton:

Negotiating with Russia probably was "very legal." Keeping it secret? Not "very cool."