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Trump Acknowledges Michael Cohen Represented Him In Stormy Daniels Payment

The president said for the first time that his longtime lawyer had been working on his behalf in paying off the adult film actress but said he wasn’t involved in Cohen’s New York City case.

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President Trump acknowledged on Thursday that his longtime attorney Michael Cohen had “represented” him in what he called the “crazy” deal in which Cohen paid $130,000 to buy the silence of a porn actress just before the 2016 election.

Trump’s comments in an interview with Fox & Friends were the first time he has conceded his connection to Cohen’s deal with Stormy Daniels, who says she had a sexual encounter with Trump in 2006, after Trump’s marriage and the birth of his youngest son.

Previously, Trump denied any relationship with Daniels and told reporters he wasn’t aware that Cohen paid Daniels.

For his part, Cohen has acknowledged paying Daniels, whose given name is Stephanie Clifford. Daniels says that Cohen was acting on behalf of Trump to keep her quiet to avoid a scandal and that he had her sign an agreement not to talk about her relationship with Trump.

Daniels is suing to escape that contract; Cohen says he will invoke his Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate himself and will not testify as part of that lawsuit.

Trump’s interview complicates legal matters for Cohen, who is dealing with a criminal investigation into his business practices in federal court in New York City. Cohen and lawyers for Trump want a judge to restrict how much evidence prosecutors can review from an earlier FBI raid of Cohen’s home and office, citing the importance of attorney-client privilege.

But Trump on Thursday downplayed his relationship with Cohen, saying the attorney barely represented him. Cohen, Trump said, is mostly a businessman and federal investigators are looking at that aspect of his life, not his legal work that might be connected to Trump.

That undercuts Cohen’s case that there might be privileged communications in the evidence seized by the FBI, which is the reason Cohen’s legal team has given for asking a federal judge to appoint a “special master” to review the material — rather than permitting a Justice Department “filter team” to go through it.

Prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York wrote to federal Judge Kimba Wood on Thursday saying they were prepared to withdraw their objection to a “special master.”

One reason, they wrote, was that it has become clear how few legal clients Cohen has. Prosecutors cited the comments by Trump on TV on Thursday and earlier statements by another putative client, Fox News host Sean Hannity, minimizing their relationships with Cohen.

That must mean there isn’t much protected material, as the U.S. Attorney’s Office wrote, and Wood can authorize the lawyers involved to work efficiently.

“These statements by two of Cohen’s three identified clients suggest that the seized materials are unlikely to contain voluminous privileged documents, further supporting the importance of efficiency here,” they wrote to the judge.

Cohen has worked for Trump for years and served as not only a counselor but also as a gatekeeper for outsiders and, in Cohen’s words, a “pit bull” when necessary.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.
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EXCLUSIVE: Full Audio Of White House official President Trump says ‘doesn’t exist’

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On Thursday afternoon the White House held a “background briefing” where a “senior White House official” provided information on North Korea to reporters.

On Saturday, President Trump claimed the aide “doesn’t exist.”

A few hours later, a journalist posted partial audio of the call

NewsThisSecond has obtained a recording of the background briefing in its entirety and is making it public.




 

 

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Read President Trump’s Letter to Chairman Kim Jong Un canceling the summit between the two leaders

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Text Version –

His Excellency
Kim Jong Un
Chairman of the State Affairs Commission
of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
Pyongyang

Dear Mr. Chairman:

We greatly appreciation your time, patience, and effort with respect to our recent negotiations and discussions relative to a summit long sought by both parties, which was scheduled to take place on June 12 in Singapore. We were informed that the meeting was requested by North Korea, but that to us is totally irrelevant. I was very much looking forward to being there with you. Sadly, based on the tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement, I feel it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting. Therefore, please let this letter serve to represent that the Singapore summit, for the good of both parties, but to the detriment of the world, will not take place. You talk about nuclear capabilities, but ours are so massive and powerful that I pray to God they will never have to be used.

I felt a wonderful dialogue was building up between you and me, and ultimately, it is only that dialogue that matters. Some day, I look very much forward to meeting you. In the meantime, I want to thank you for the release of the hostages who are now home with their families. That was a beautiful gesture and was very much appreciated.

If you change your mind having to do with this most important summit, please do not hesitate to call me or write. The world, and North Korea in particular, has lost a great opportunity for lasting peace and great prosperity and wealth. This missed opportunity is a truly sad moment in history.

Sincerely yours,

Donald J. Trump
President of the United States of America

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MELANIA TRUMP UNDERGOES KIDNEY SURGERY AT WALTER REED MEDICAL CENTER

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First lady Melania Trump underwent  kidney surgery Monday at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center near Washington, DC, according to a statement from her office.

Trump had been experiencing an issue with her kidney that her office described as benign but requiring medical attention.

Trump, who turned 48 last month, entered Walter Reed in nearby Bethesda, Maryland, on Monday morning and is expected to remain hospitalized for several days following the operation, according to the statement from her communications director, Stephanie Grisham.

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