WASHINGTON — On his way to catch Air Force One on Thursday, President Donald Trump shared his thoughts about Michael Cohen, his one-time personal lawyer who pleaded guilty that morning to lying to Congress about negotiations for a possible Trump Tower in Moscow during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Trump said: (1) it was no secret he was interested in putting a Trump Tower in Moscow; (2) as a private citizen, he had every right to build in Russia; so (3) there was no reason for Cohen to lie to Congress, and if he did lie, it had nothing to do with the president.
Trump has a point. As Brad Blakeman, a lawyer in President George W. Bush' administration, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Trump's actions were legal. Trump wasn't president in 2016, and he didn't know that he would win. He had every right to push to keep his business going.
"He was hedging his bets," Blakeman said. "I don't know why Cohen had to lie about it."