Cohen: Just when Trump is busy for peace in Korean Peninsula, disaster strikes at home
Hanoi, Feb 28: Just when US President Donald Trump was thinking of bringing a major reform to his image by sitting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un for the second summit since June last year, he faced a major distraction back home.
His former personal attorney Michael Cohen testified before the Congress that his former boss was a "conman" and "racist" who also lied about having advanced knowledge of Wikileaks plans to release the stolen emails of an opponent leader.
This was a major embarrassment for the American president who is in the pursuit of accomplishing a major foreign policy goal of establishing peace in the Korean Peninsula.
Trump met Kim for a one-on-one chat on Wednesday, February 27, followed by a dinner and then early on Thursday, February 28, the second and concluding day of the event.
Trump attacked Cohen even before the hearing began at Capitol Hill on Wednesday, saying in a tweet that the latter was lying to reduce his prison term. Cohen has pleaded guilty to lying to the Congress and finance violations and has been handed a three-year sentence.
Michael Cohen was one of many lawyers who represented me (unfortunately). He had other clients also. He was just disbarred by the State Supreme Court for lying & fraud. He did bad things unrelated to Trump. He is lying in order to reduce his prison time. Using Crooked’s lawyer!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 27, 2019
Trump even faced uncomfortable questions from the media about Cohen in Hanoi following which the White House barred four American journalists, including one from The Associated Press, to attend the Trump-Kim dinner meeting citing "sensitivities", AP reported.
Cohen is considered a high-profile witness by the Democrats as they pursue Trump over his business practices, presidential campaign and charitable foundation. Cohen was earlier set to appear at Capitol Hill earlier in February but it was later delayed.
President Trump's son Donald Junior accused the Opposition of timing the hearing purportedly to disrupt Trump's foreign trip.
Cohen even revealed that Trump did not serve the Vietnam War because of medical reasons and even told him: "You think I'm stupid, I wasn't going to Vietnam", AP reported.
Cohen said it was ironic to see Trump was in Vietnam at the moment.
"The hearing began just before midnight in Hanoi. It was not clear whether Trump stayed up late to watch. The president did spend some of the downtime at his hotel before his dinner with Kim watching the coverage of Cohen's prepared testimony, which was released the evening before his Capitol Hill appearance," the AP report said.