News & Politics

Michael Cohen: Allegations of Secret Kremlin Meetings Are “Absurd”

"I’ve never been to Prague," Trump's counsel says.

Michael Cohen in December. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

In an interview with Washingtonian, Michael Cohen—counsel to president-elect Donald Trump—vehemently denied allegations that he engaged in secret meetings with Kremlin officials in Prague in August 2016.

“This is completely and utterly false,” Cohen says. “Absurd. I’ve never been to Prague.”

The conversation comes following Cohen’s tweet this evening of an image of a passport. “I have never been to Prague in my life. #fakenews,” Cohen tweeted. When asked by Washingtonian what he hoped to communicate by showing the front of a passport, Cohen said: “I’m in a meeting. Have a good day.”

In an unverified dossier circulating the web—in the hands of many journalists, intelligence officials, and members of Congress prior to the election but first published in full by BuzzFeed—sources allege, among other indiscretions, that Trump aides conducted clandestine meetings with Russian officials throughout the presidential campaign and received intelligence on Hillary Clinton. Both Cohen and Trump have claimed via Twitter that the allegations fall under the “fake news” narrative.

Cohen says that he was only in New York for the month of August, save for a trip to Los Angeles with his son from August 23-29. Two USC baseball sources confirm that Cohen and his son were in fact on campus visiting the baseball program on the 29th.

When asked how this “political witch hunt”—as Trump called it—might compare to similar allegations that Trump made about others during his campaign, such as alleging the father of US Senator Ted Cruz was involved in John F. Kennedy’s assassination, Cohen said: “Well, I never made that allegation.”

Republicans on the Hill, at least thus far, seem nonplussed by the dossier.

“I know absolutely nothing about it,” New York representative Chris Collins — a top House ally to Trump — tells Washingtonian. “But am I worried? No, not in the least.”

A Republican who serves on the House Judiciary Committee echoed Collins when asked about the allegations against the president-elect and his cohorts. “Seems shady — I doubt anything comes of it absent some hard proof,” the congressman texts. Trump voters, the Republican said, “won’t believe it anyway.”

Staff Writer

Elaina Plott joined Washingtonian in June 2016 as a staff writer. She has written about her past life as an Ann Coulter fangirl, how the Obamas changed Washington, and the rise and fall of Roll Call. She previously covered Congress for National Review. Her writing has appeared in the New York Observer, GQ, and Harper’s Bazaar.