Donald Trump's former personal lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen told Congress that the president is a "racist" and "conman" and knew in advance that WikiLeaks would publish dirt on Hillary Clinton, US media reported.
In explosive public testimony yesterday, Cohen also stated that Trump essentially instructed him to lie about a lucrative real estate project Trump had in the works in Russia even while running for president in 2016, according to a prepared statement by Cohen that was provided to The New York Times and other US news outlets.
Trump, in Vietnam for a second nuclear summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, responded to the release of the statement by trying to distance himself from Cohen and discredit him.
"Michael Cohen was one of many lawyers who represented me (unfortunately)," Trump tweeted.
Cohen testified before the House of Representatives Oversight Committee on the second of three keenly awaited days of testimony on Capitol Hill. Tuesday's first session at the Senate was held behind closed doors.
Cohen, 52, worked closely with Trump for more than 12 years, becoming vice president of the Trump Organization, where he was the billionaire property magnate's behind-the-scenes "fixer."
Last year, Cohen pleaded guilty to illegally using campaign funds for hush money payments to two women who said they had affairs with Trump. The president denies the liaisons.
Cohen also pleaded guilty to lying to Congress in testimony in 2017 when he sought to cover up Trump's pursuit of the Moscow real estate project during the presidential election campaign. Cohen will soon start serving three years in prison.
Trump in his tweet yesterday said Cohen is "lying in order to reduce his prison time", even though he has already been sentenced. Trump noted that Cohen has been disbarred in the state of New York for lying to congress.