WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump on Monday attacked one potential Russia witness against him – former personal attorney Michael Cohen – and defended another, long-time political adviser Roger Stone.
The president also maintained his criticism of Russia special counsel Robert Mueller, saying he and other prosecutors “don’t want the truth, they only want lies” when it comes to investigating Russia interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign.
“The truth is very bad for their mission!” Trump tweeted.
Trump also mocked Cohen’s request for no prison time after his guilty plea agreement with the special counsel, saying that his former personal lawyer “makes up stories to get a GREAT & ALREADY reduced deal for himself.”
And amid reports that Cohen may provide embarrassing information on Trump, the president tweeted about the “guts” of Stone:
“‘I will never testify against Trump.’ This statement was recently made by Roger Stone, essentially stating that he will not be forced by a rogue and out of control prosecutor to make up lies and stories about ‘President Trump.’ Nice to know that some people still have ‘guts!’”
Trump’s latest attack on Cohen came four days after the lawyer pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about negotiations during the 2016 election year on plans to build a Trump Tower in Russia.
The plea is part of a deal Cohen struck with Mueller’s office, which is investigating whether Trump’s campaign worked with the Russians as they meddled in the 2016 election by hacking Democratic emails, seeking to benefit Trump’s campaign.
Many legal analysts said Cohen may information on the Russian plot that he will provide Mueller.
After his plea, Cohen and his lawyers asked a federal judge to spare him prison time, a request that irked the president.
“You mean he can do all of the TERRIBLE, unrelated to Trump, things having to do with fraud, big loans, Taxis, etc., and not serve a long prison term?” Trump said on Twitter.
Trump, who has denied collusion with Russia during the 2016 campaign, also said: “He lied for this outcome and should, in my opinion, serve a full and complete sentence.”
Stone, meanwhile, has said he suspects Mueller may indict him on allegations that he had advance knowledge that the WikiLeaks website would release Democratic emails purloined the Russians.