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Trump Lawyer Says He And President Did Not Collude With Russia


Michael Cohen delivers a statement to reporters after meeting with Senate Intelligence Committee staff on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on September 19.

U.S. President Donald Trump's personal lawyer has said that he saw "not a hint" that Trump colluded with Russia during last year's presidential election.

Michael Cohen issued a statement before a closed-door session he was scheduled to attend before the Senate Intelligence Committee on September 19 on the question of Russian interference in the election.

The committee cited his preemption of that hearing in announcing that it was canceling the planned session.

Cohen said a British intelligence agent's dossier that alleged he and Trump colluded with Russia during the election was "riddled with falsehoods and intentionally salacious accusations."

"I have never engaged with, been paid by, paid for, or conversed with any member of the Russian Federation or anyone else to hack or interfere with the election," Cohen said.

"Given my own proximity to the president of the United States as a candidate, let me also say that I never saw anything -- not a hint of anything -- that demonstrated his involvement in Russian interference in our election or any form of Russian collusion," he said.

The dossier compiled by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele alleged that Cohen acted as a liaison with the Russian government and secretly met with Kremlin officials in Prague in August 2016.

But Cohen said, "I have never in my life been to Prague or to anywhere in the Czech Republic."

Cohen said that the Russian meddling issue had been politicized "to discredit our lawfully elected president" and shame his supporters.

He also said there was no link between an effort by Trump to launch a luxury Trump Tower in Moscow and the election.

Cohen said the project proposal was terminated in January 2016, before the first Republican caucuses and primaries for choosing the party's candidate for the White House.

"You can oppose the president's points of view and his policies, but not raise false issues about the validity of his victory," Cohen said.

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and Reuters
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