President Donald Trump claimed Friday that his former lawyer Michael Cohen “directly asked” him for a pardon and lied under oath when testifying before Congress last week.
“Bad lawyer and fraudster Michael Cohen said under sworn testimony that he never asked for a Pardon. His lawyers totally contradicted him. He lied! Additionally, he directly asked me for a pardon. I said NO. He lied again! He also badly wanted to work at the White House. He lied!” Trump tweeted Friday, while aboard Air Force One.
Cohen said in his open testimony before the House that he “never” asked for a pardon.
“I have never asked for it, nor would I accept a pardon from President Trump,” Cohen said before the House Intelligence Committee.
He responded to Trump Friday, tweeting: “Just another set of lies by @POTUS @realdonaldtrump.”
The prospect of a Cohen pardon was raised more than once between Cohen’s lawyer and attorneys representing the President, according to multiple sources familiar with the matter. The depth of those discussions – including whether a pardon was truly on the table in exchange for Cohen’s cooperation – is being disputed publicly among the different factions.
Cohen told Congress over the past week that his former attorney spoke separately with two attorneys for the President, Rudy Giuilani and Jay Sekulow, about the prospect of a pardon, the sources said.
Cohen also testified to Congress that he spoke directly to Sekulow about pardons, according to the sources, which Sekulow denies.
CNN’s Gloria Borger, Pamela Brown and Jeremy Herb contributed to this report.