Michael Cohen, special counsel to the president and a longtime employee of the Trump Organization, admitted to the New York Times that he had delivered sealed plans for settling Russia’s conflict with Ukraine to then-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
The newspaper, which first reported on the secret plans, quoted Cohen as saying he left the proposal with Flynn earlier this month and was waiting for a response when the retired general resigned over misleading statements he’d made about his communications with the Russian ambassador.
“Who doesn’t want to help bring about peace?” Cohen told the Times.
Cohen and Felix Sater, a business associate who helped Trump look for deals in Russia, claim they had never spoken to the president about their plans and have no experience in foreign policy.
The pair reportedly met with Ukrainian politician Andrii Artemenko, which Coren acknowledged in a separate interview with the Washington Post, just days before Flynn’s resignation — but he denied taking the sealed envelope to the White House and leaving it with the national security adviser.
“I acknowledge that the brief meeting took place, but emphatically deny discussing this topic or delivering any documents to the White House and/or General Flynn,” Cohen told the Post.
Cohen provided an identically worded statement to Lawnewz disputing the Times reporting on his document delivery.
The Times defended its account of Cohen’s actions, saying the attorney told reporters “in no uncertain terms that he delivered the Ukraine proposal to Michael Flynn’s office at the White House.”
Sater also told Times reporters that Cohen had told him the same thing, according to the newspaper’s deputy managing editor, Matt Purdy.
Cohen’s name comes up in an infamous dossier compiled by a former British spy on Trump’s Russian ties.
According to the unverified dossier, Cohen secretly met with Kremlin officials in Prague during August to “clean up the mess” over former campaign chair Paul Manafort’s ties to the pro-Russia regime in Ukraine.
The dossier claims Cohen helped set up plans to pay off hackers and others involved in an alleged plot to interfere with the U.S. election and quickly move them underground in case Hillary Clinton won.
Cohen has denied the claims, saying his passport shows he was not in Prague and was instead in California visiting a college with his son.
He denied to Lawnewz that he was under investigation by the FBI or any other government authorities.
“It would take any half decent, unbiased journalist 10 minutes to verify the inaccuracies in the dossier,” Cohen told the website.