Giuliani backtracks on comments Trump sought Moscow deal throughout 2016

US president Donald Trump,Donald Trump,Trump Tower

In the statement, he said "there was no collusion by President Trump in any way, shape or form" and that he had "no knowledge of any collusion by any of the thousands of people who worked on the campaign".

Trump has denied the BuzzFeed article's claim and Giuliani backed him: "I can tell you his counsel to Michael Cohen throughout that entire period was: "Tell the truth". Saying that the talks ended in January 2016 was a lie, Cohen admitted. Those statements turned out to be lies.

But later, Cohen admitted in court that he made the false statements about the project "to be consistent with Individual 1's political messaging and to be loyal to Individual 1".

Cohen, who has been sentenced to three years in prison for lying to lawmakers, is expected to testify before the Democratic-led House Oversight Committee on February 7.

The remarks also came amid fallout from a disputed report by BuzzFeed News that alleged that evidence showed that Trump had personally directed Cohen to lie to Congress about how long talks about the proposed project had overlapped with Trump's campaign for president.

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"First of all, the Times was absolutely wrong", said Giuliani.

Hours later, Special Counsel Robert Mueller threw cold-water on the media's hopes; releasing a rare statement directly refuting claims the President instructed his personal lawyer to lie to Congress.

Trump's discussions with Cohen about the Moscow project - regardless of when they ended - happened while Trump cozied up to Russian Federation with his rhetoric on the campaign trail.

Schiff then shifted focus to Mueller's broader investigation of whether Trump and his campaign colluded with Russian Federation to steal the 2016 election, saying "we need to pay particular attention to what we do know from the special counsel that was not included in this statement yesterday". The next day, Giuliani walks back his comments, saying they "did not represent the actual timing or circumstances of any discussions". Giuliani also leaves open the possibility that Trump and Cohen might have discussed Cohen's testimony.

Stelter grilled Smith about his editorial practices, barely letting him finish a sentence as he challenged Smith's decisions about sourcing and publishing, saying, "I'm concerned there wasn't enough requests for comment, enough detailed conversation with the Special Counsel's Office... why publish Thursday night instead of waiting for a third source or a fourth source, knowing the stakes of this story?"

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