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Cohen claims he started Trump's 2016 presidential campaign


US President Donald Trump's former attorney Michael Cohen claimed that he started Trump's presidential campaign in 2016 by opening a website called '', which eventually triggered the incumbent President's campaign.
Cohen made this claim when he appeared for the public testimony before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform on Wednesday (local time).
US Representative Jim Jordan asked Trump's former attorney, "You started the campaign for President of the United States for Donald Trump?"
"I certainly did, sir," CNN quoted Cohen as replying.
He added that he started the website after reading a newspaper poll which asked people whom they would vote for in 2012 - "6% said they'd vote" for Trump, he said.
"So I brought it into his office and I said to him, 'Mr. Trump, take a look at this, and he said wouldn't that be great?' And with that is where it all started," Cohen remarked.
The former attorney made shocking revelations regarding the Trump family during the 2016 Presidential campaign, adding that he had his "suspicions" of Trump colluding with Russia during the 2016 elections. He also claimed that Trump lied about his involvement in the Trump Tower project in Moscow during the 2016 campaign.
Cohen also alleged that Trump did not expect to win the presidential campaign, which was just a "marketing opportunity" for the current President of the United States.
"So to be clear, Mr Trump knew of and directed the Trump Moscow negotiations throughout the campaign and lied about it. He lied about it because he never expected to win. He also lied about it because he stood to make hundreds of millions of dollars on the Moscow real estate project," he claimed.
Speaking on the Wikileaks drop of emails, Cohen stated that Trump had prior information of the hacked Democratic National Committee emails, thanks to his aide Roger Stone.
"As I earlier stated, Mr Trump knew from Roger Stone in advance about the Wikileaks drop of emails. In July of 2016, days before the Democratic convention, I was in Mr Trump's office when his secretary announced that Roger Stone was on the phone. Mr Trump put Mr Stone on the speakerphone. Mr Stone told Mr Trump that he had just gotten off the phone with Julian Assange and that Mr Assange told Mr Stone that within a couple of days there would be a massive dump of emails that would damage Hillary Clinton's campaign," he noted.
According to him, Trump had replied with a "wouldn't that be great," to this.
Cohen also accused Trump of being a racist. "Mr Trump is a racist. The country has seen Mr Trump court white supremacists and bigots. You have heard him call foreign countries sh**holes. In private, he is even worse," Trump's former attorney said.
He also revealed that Trump had reimbursed him for the "illegal hush money" he paid on the President's behalf.
"So let me make sure I understand. Donald Trump wrote you a check out of his personal account while he was serving as president of the United States of America to reimburse you for hush money payments to Ms Clifford. Is that what you are telling the American people today?" House Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings asked Cohen.
"Yes, Mr Chairman," Cohen replied.
This is in reference to Stephanie Clifford, popularly known as Stormy Daniels, who alleged that she had an affair with Trump in 2006. Cohen paid Daniels USD 1,30,000 to stop her from speaking out about her relationship with the incumbent US President.
"Thank you," the porn actress, who is suing both Trump and Cohen, tweeted during Cohen's proceedings.
The US President's former lawyer has been found guilty of campaign finance crimes, amongst other charges and is due to start his three-year prison term on May 6.

Disclaimer: No Business Standard Journalist was involved in creation of this content

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First Published: Feb 28 2019 | 2:46 AM IST

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