As a non-lawyer, I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t the faintest idea what sort of 11th dimensional meta-chess President Donald Trump and his legal team are playing at these days. But, I will say this: If I were his attorney, and someone—say, Michael Cohen, perhaps?—were to come out with some potentially catastrophically damaging information about my client, I’m not sure my first call would be to the New York Times to confirm that it’s definitely true.
Just hours after Trump insisted that Cohen’s recent guilty plea—in which he admitted to misleading Congress about the timing and status of plans for a potential Trump Tower property in Moscow—was the act of a “weak person” who was simply trying to save his own skin, the president’s attorneys told the Times that Trump’s written answers to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s questions about the Trump Tower deal were pretty much identical to Cohen’s admission. Discussions about the Trump Moscow deal, it turns out, had continued long after he had testified that they’d ended.
“The president said there was a proposal, it was discussed with Cohen, there was a non-binding letter of intent and it didn’t go beyond that,” Trump’s attorney/rage monkey Rudy Giuliani told the Times.
Speaking with reporters en route to Argentina for the G20 conference on Thursday, however, Trump had denounced Cohen’s plea as “lying very simply in order to get a reduced sentence.” And then Giuliani himself reiterated that very point to the Times, saying: “Cohen has just told us he’s a liar. Given the fact that he’s a liar, I can’t tell you what he’s lying about.”
So, just to be clear, Team Trump says that Michael Cohen is definitely a liar who should never, ever be believed. But also, yeah, he’s definitely telling the truth here. Got it?