President Donald Trump has for years been dogged by salacious rumors ranging from collusion with Russia to paying for abortions. Trump’s former fixer, Michael Cohen, disputed several of the stories under oath before Congress on Wednesday—despite calling Trump a “racist,” a “con man,” and a “cheat.”
Cohen denied under oath that he ever traveled to Prague, part of a key claim in the Steele dossier that accused the Trump campaign of colluding with Russia in August 2016. The dossier said Cohen met representatives of the Kremlin in the Czech Republic about working together to defeat Hillary Clinton. McClatchy News reported a disputed story last year claiming that Cohen’s cell phone “pinged” off a cell-phone tower in Prague that summer. “I’ve never been to Prague,” Cohen told Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC) during Wednesday’s hearing. “I’ve never been to the Czech Republic.”
Cohen said he and others searched for a purported tape showing Trump striking Melania Trump in an elevator, but that it doesn’t exist. The Daily Beast reported last year that an L.A. attorney approached TMZ in October 2016, saying her client had a tape of Trump assaulting his wife. TMZ boss Harvey Levin arranged a rendevouz with the lawyer, but she canceled before they met. The next day, Levin told TMZ staff he had altered the Trump campaign. “I know several people who went to go try to purchase it for catch and kill purpose,” Cohen tol Congress. “It doesn’t exist.” In a rare moment of defending his former boss, Cohen said: “I don't believe Mr. Trump ever struck Mrs. Trump ever, I don’t believe it.”
Cohen said Trump did not have a child out of wedlock, despite the fact that Trump-friendly American Media, Inc. paid $15,000 to “catch-and-kill” a story by former Trump bodyguard’ Dino Sajudin about the purported child. “Not to the best of my knowledge,” Cohen told Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) during Wednesday’s hearing about the supposed love child. .
Cohen was asked Wednesday to address rumors that Trump may have paid for a mistress’ abortion. “Do you have any knowledge of President Trump arranging any health-care procedures for women not in his family?” Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) asked, euphemistically. “I’m not aware of that, no,” Cohen flatly answered.
During Krishnamoorthi’s same line of questioning, Cohen was asked about the long-running rumor that Trump has recently used prescription stimulants (a former Apprentice staffer alleged that Trump “snorted Adderall” on the set). “I am not aware of that, no,” Cohen said.