'It's a dead issue': Rudy Giuliani says Trump was 'unaware' of Michael Cohen's financial dealings

  • Rudy Giuliani, an attorney for President Donald Trump, denied Trump was aware of Michael Cohen’s financial dealings that were brought to light in a report published on Tuesday.
  • The report alleges that a firm linked to Cohen, Trump’s longtime personal attorney, was compensated for various services to major firms, including one linked to a Russian oligarch with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
  • Giuliani said Trump was not concerned about the report’s findings.

The former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, now a member of President Donald Trump’s legal team for the Russia investigation, said Trump was not aware of Michael Cohen’s financial dealings that gained intense scrutiny after a bombshell report surfaced on Tuesday.

“The president was unaware of this,” Giuliani told Bloomberg on Wednesday. “The president is not involved in any respect. It’s a dead issue as far as I’m concerned,” he said.

Cohen, Trump’s longtime personal attorney, took some heat a day earlier after a report published by Michael Avenatti, the attorney for the adult-film star, Stormy Daniels, who is suing Trump and Cohen, detailed large sums of money funneled to a shell company linked to Cohen.

The firm, Essential Consultants LLC, appeared to have received hundreds of thousands of dollars from major corporations like Novartis, a Swiss pharmaceutical firm; Korea Aerospace Industries, a South Korean defence contractor; and AT&T, the giant US telecom company.

According to the report, Cohen’s firm also received a $US500,000 payment from Viktor Vekselberg, a Russian oligarch with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, shortly after the 2016 US presidential election.

The identified companies brushed off concerns about whether their payments to Cohen’s firm were inappropriate.

“Essential Consulting was one of several firms we engaged in early 2017 to provide insights into understanding the new administration,” AT&T said in a statement. “They did no legal or lobbying work for us, and the contract ended in December 2017.”

Giuliani reiterated that Trump did not know why Cohen received payment from the companies, and said Trump’s legal team has “no reason to be concerned about it or to pursue it any further.”

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