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But the California Republican said he does not know whether he is the U.S. congressman referenced in the indictment of Russian gun-rights activist Maria Butina, according to Politico.
Rohrabacher told Politico that he was part of the congressional delegation that visited Russia in August 2015, but he played down the significance of a meeting with Butina, saying he was joined by another U.S. lawmaker along with other Americans.
"I know I had dinner with [Butina] along with another member, along with a visiting delegation to Russia," Rohrabacher told Politico. "Is that something we should be worried about?"
The Daily Beast reported Tuesday that an aide to Rohrabacher had confirmed that he was the lawmaker mentioned in the indictment, but insisted that the meeting was "of no consequence."
"All he could recall about Ms. Butina is that she was an aide to Torshin who arranged a [breakfast] meeting and was of no consequence other than that," the aide, Ken Grubbs, told The Daily Beast.
In an interview with The Daily Beast on Monday night, Giuliani appeared to blame the maelstrom he kicked up on inquisitive New York Times reporters who he suggested had compelled him to proactively spin a potentially damaging story that may or may not actually be real. Several veterans of the Trump campaign, like much of the viewing public, were left befuddled.
“You get to the other meeting he says he was at, that the president wasn’t at…with Donald [Trump] Jr., Jared [Kushner], [Paul] Manafort…[Rick] Gates and one other person. Cohen also now says that—he says too much—that two days before he was participating in a meeting with roughly the same group of people—but not the president, definitely not the president—in which they were talking about the strategy of the meeting with the Russians,” Giuliani continued. “The people in that meeting deny it, the people who we’ve been able to interview. The people we’ve not been able to interview have never said that about that meeting.”
To numerous observers, this was incredibly confusing and potentially damaging. There had never been reports of a planning meeting. And the Trump team had long insisted that the actual meeting itself was so innocent and irrelevant as to barely even register in their memories—which likely would not have been the case if they had been planning for it.
Yes, Giuliani had denied it took place. But why was he even talking about it in the first place?
In subsequent interviews on Monday, the president’s lawyer claimed that, in fact, he was only speaking off of as-yet unverified details from reporters who had contacted Team Trump to ask about the planning meeting.
We're going to find out that there was a pre-meeting with top Trump people regarding the infamous attempted collusion meeting in Trump tower, if I'm understanding things correctly. I'm guessing the implication here is if the campaign cared enough to have a meeting about the meeting it increases the chances Trump knew ahead of time. I also believe the timing lays it around when Trump claimed at rally he'd be dumping some dirt on Hillary soon.
Such a meeting is plausible. With a tight election, an offer of dirt on your opponent would be hard to ignore. But ... it involves meeting with reps of a foreign power. A staff meeting to discuss going would be the sane response.
Denying something happened, that no one had heard of before. Hmmm - fun times ahead.
The Justice Department special counsel has evidence that Donald Trump’s personal lawyer and confidant, Michael Cohen, secretly made a late-summer trip to Prague during the 2016 presidential campaign, according to two sources familiar with the matter.
Confirmation of the trip would lend credence to a retired British spy’s report that Cohen strategized there with a powerful Kremlin figure about Russian meddling in the U.S. election.
It’s unclear whether Mueller’s investigators also have evidence that Cohen actually met with a prominent Russian – purportedly Konstantin Kosachev, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin — in the Czech capital. Kosachev, who chairs the Foreign Affairs Committee of a body of the Russian legislature, the Federation Council, also has denied visiting Prague during 2016. Earlier this month, Kosachev was among 24 high-profile Russians hit with stiff U.S. sanctions in retaliation for Russia’s meddling.
But investigators have traced evidence that Cohen entered the Czech Republic through Germany, apparently during August or early September of 2016 as the ex-spy reported, said the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is confidential. He wouldn’t have needed a passport for such a trip, because both countries are in the so-called Schengen Area in which 26 nations operate with open borders. The disclosure still left a puzzle: The sources did not say whether Cohen took a commercial flight or private jet to Europe, and gave no explanation as to why no record of such a trip has surfaced.
Ms. Butina’s efforts to deal in Russian jet fuel, detailed in hundreds of pages of previously unreported emails, were notable not just for their whiff of foreign intrigue but for whom they involved: David Keene, a former president of the National Rifle Association and a prominent leader of the conservative movement, who has advised Republican candidates from Ronald Reagan to Mitt Romney. They also involved Mr. Keene’s wife, Donna, a well-connected Washington lobbyist, and Ms. Butina’s boyfriend, Paul Erickson, who ran Patrick J. Buchanan’s 1992 presidential campaign and who moved in rarefied conservative circles despite allegations of fraud in three states.
The head of the NRA was helping Butina get jet fuel?
But one of his tactics, Mueller reveals, was to get what Manafort described “in a contemporaneous communication [as] ‘[O]bama jews’” to pressure the Obama administration in October 2012.
The scheme was to tie Tymoshenko to antisemitism through association. Manafort got “a senior Israeli government official to issue a written statement publicizing this story.” That’s a reference to a statement from then-Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman, a hardliner who is now defense minister, as noted by journalist Noga Tarnopolsky. The story was published by Ben Shapiro at Breitbart, as first reported by The Guardian’s Luke Harding. Manafort, “with secret advance knowledge of that Israeli statement,” bragged as he shopped it around the U.S., “I have someone pushing it on the NY Post. Bada bing bada boom.”
President Donald Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, has participated over the last month in multiple interview sessions lasting for hours with investigators from the office of special counsel, Robert Mueller, sources tell ABC News.
Cohen’s participation in the meetings has been voluntary -- without any guarantee of leniency from prosecutors, according to several people familiar with the situation.
ABC News has also learned that Cohen is also cooperating with a separate probe by New York state authorities into the inner workings of the Trump family charity and the Trump Organization, where Cohen served as an executive vice president and special counsel to Trump for 10 years.
A former top White House official has revised her statement to investigators about a key event in the probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election, after her initial claim was contradicted by the guilty plea of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, according to people familiar with the matter.
K.T. McFarland, who briefly served as Flynn’s deputy, has now said that he may have been referring to sanctions when they spoke in late December 2016 after Flynn’s calls with Russia’s ambassador to the United States, these people said.
When FBI agents first visited her at her Long Island home in the summer of 2017, McFarland denied ever talking to Flynn about any discussion of sanctions between him and the ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, in December 2016 during the presidential transition.
For a time, investigators saw her answers as “inconsistent,” putting her in legal peril as the FBI tried to determine if she had lied to them.
Not long after Flynn’s plea, McFarland was questioned by investigators again about her conversations with Flynn, and she walked back her previous denial that sanctions were discussed, saying a general statement Flynn had made to her that things were going to be okay could have been a reference to sanctions, these people said.