President Trump has dismissed a new guilty plea made by his former lawyer Michael Cohen in federal court today. Cohen admitted he lied to Congress about negotiations he had in 2016 on behalf of the Trump organization aimed at building a Trump Tower in Russia. Trump's take — that Cohen is a liar.
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PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: He's a weak person. And what he's trying to do is get a reduced sentence. So he's lying about a project that everybody knew about.
KELLY: The president speaking there to reporters as he left the White House for G-20 meetings in Argentina. And speaking of the White House, that is where we find NPR's Mara Liasson. Hey, Mara.
MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: Hi there.
KELLY: So you were there for that session as the president was taking questions on Michael Cohen today. Did he have any other choice words for his longtime, now-former lawyer other than calling him weak and a liar?
LIASSON: Well, he clearly wants to discredit Cohen in general. But what's interesting is Trump didn't deny Cohen's new assertions. He didn't say those were a lie, the fact that The Trump Organization's negotiations about a potential Trump Tower project in Moscow continued well into 2016 during the presidential campaign. Trump says there was nothing wrong about him exploring this deal.
But it's also true that during that time, candidate Trump was attacking NATO, praising Putin, asking the Russians to hack Hillary's emails. His son and other campaign staffers were meeting with Russian government intermediaries. And all along, Trump was denying that he had any business dealings with Russia. Asked why he denied that, he said, well, this deal didn't happen. It was just an option. Is an option a business dealing? Clearly Trump doesn't think so.
But what's interesting is in his plea deal today, Cohen says the reason he lied was to be consistent with Trump's political messaging. The messaging of course was that there were no Trump-Russian dealings at all — as Trump used to say, zero.
KELLY: So how does this latest twist contribute to our understanding of what happened back in 2016? I mean, President Trump and Michael Cohen seem in agreement that he lied. And you're saying they seem in agreement about the timing. What are we learning?
LIASSON: Well, they're not in disagreement on the potential Trump negotiations for a Trump Tower in Russia. So he's not — Trump isn't contradicting the timeline that Cohen is now putting forward.
LIASSON: He says nothing happened with that. But we do know that Cohen is cooperating with Robert Mueller. He has spent many, many hours with him. And Trump doesn't know what else Cohen might be telling Mueller, and that might worry Trump. That's one of the reasons he has to undermine Cohen's credibility. Also what might be significant is if in his written answers to Mueller Trump answered questions about this Russian Trump Tower negotiations in a way that either contradicted Cohen or contradicted Trump's own public statements, that could be a potential problem.
KELLY: One sign of what is on the president's mind is of course what he's tweeting. And he has been ramping up his attacks on Mueller's investigation. That's the backdrop for this.
LIASSON: Right, an increased number of attacks on Mueller, and they've been increasingly aggressive. He's clearly anticipating more action from Mueller now that the midterms are over. And of course look what happened today. And Trump is continuing to do what he's done for a very long time, which is to try to discredit Mueller and the investigation so that he can dismiss whatever Mueller comes up with in the end as a partisan witch hunt.
KELLY: Meanwhile, Mara, we mentioned that President Trump is spending the next two days in Argentina for this G-20 gathering. He was supposed to be having a sit-down with the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, a sit-down that is now no longer happening.
LIASSON: That's right. He's canceled it. I did ask him at the White House this morning whether he was going to meet with Putin, and he said he probably would. He said it's a very good time to have a meeting. The Russians want it. But just less than an hour later, he tweeted he was canceling the meeting because Russia had not returned those Ukrainian sailors and their ship.
KELLY: NPR's Mara Liasson at the White House — thank you, Mara.
LIASSON: Thank you.
今天，特朗普总统驳斥了他的前私人律师迈克尔·科恩在联邦法庭签署的一项新认罪协议 。科恩承认，他在2016年代表特朗普集团就在俄罗斯建设特朗普大厦进行谈判一事上向国会作了伪证 。而特朗普的看法是，科恩是个骗子 。
唐纳德·特朗普总统：他是一个软弱的人 。他这样做的目的就是为了获得减刑 。所以，他在一个所有人都知道的项目上说了谎 。
凯利：这是特朗普在准备离开白宫前往阿根廷出席G20峰会时对记者所说 。说到白宫，现在我们要连线NPR新闻驻白宫记者玛拉·利亚森 。你好，玛拉 。
利亚森：总的来说，他显然是想让大家质疑科恩 。但是值得注意的是，特朗普并没有否认科恩提供的新断言 。他没有说科恩所说的是谎话，事实是特朗普集团在莫斯科建设特朗普大厦项目的谈判工作在2016年总统竞选期间仍在顺利进行 。特朗普表示，他考察这笔交易没有错 。
但是，时任总统候选人特朗普在同一时间攻击北约、称赞普京并呼吁俄罗斯入侵希拉里的电邮也是不争的事实 。他的儿子以及竞选团队其他成员当时在与俄罗斯政府的中间人会面 。而特朗普一直否认他曾与俄罗斯有过任何商业往来 。在被问及为何否认这一点时，他说，这项交易并未发生 。那只是个选择 。选择是商业往来吗？显然特朗普认为不是 。
而值得注意的是，科恩在今天签署的认罪协议中指出，他作伪证的原因是要与特朗普传递的政治信息保持一致 。当然，该信息是特朗普与俄罗斯之间没有任何交易，就像特朗普此前经常说的那样，零往来 。
凯利：那这一最新转折有没有帮助我们理解2016年到底发生了什么事？特朗普总统和迈克尔·科恩似乎在他说谎这件事上意见一致 。你刚才说他们在时间点上的说法也是一致的 。由此我们可以得知什么信息？
利亚森：就特朗普为在俄罗斯建设特朗普大厦而进行谈判的可能性来说，二人不存在异议 。特朗普没有反驳科恩提出的时间点 。
利亚森：他说什么事都没有发生 。但是我们知道，科恩正在与罗伯特·穆勒合作 。二人共度了数个小时 。而特朗普不知道科恩可能还会告诉穆勒哪些信息，这也许会令特朗普感到担心 。这是他必须削弱科恩的可信度的其中一个原因 。另外，可能具有重要意义的是，在给穆勒的书面答复中，如果有涉及在俄罗斯建设特朗普大厦的谈判活动等相关问题，而特朗普的回答反驳了科恩的话或与特朗普自己的公开声明相矛盾，那可能会成为潜在问题 。
凯利：能了解总统想法的其中一个方法是关注他在推特上发表的言论 。他一直在不断加强对穆勒调查的攻击 。这是相关背景 。
利亚森：对，攻击穆勒地次数在不断增加，而且言辞越来越具侵略性 。显然他希望现在穆勒能采取更多行动，因为中期选举已经结束了 。当然，我们要看一下今天发生的事情 。特朗普仍在做他很长时间以来一直在做的事情，那就是试图令穆勒及“通俄门”调查失去可信度，这样无论穆勒得出何种结论，他都会驳斥称那是党派迫害 。
凯利：玛拉，我们刚才还提到特朗普总统未来两天将在阿根廷出席G20峰会 。他原定与俄罗斯总统弗拉基米尔·普京举行会谈，但现在这场会谈取消了 。
利亚森：没错 。他取消了这场会谈 。我今天早上在白宫提问时，有问他是否会与普京会面，当时他说可能会 。他说这是举行会谈的恰当时机 。俄罗斯想进行会晤 。但是就在不到一个小时之后，他在推特上宣布他取消了这场会面，因为俄罗斯还没有归还乌克兰海员和军舰 。
1. on behalf of 代表；
On behalf of the department I would like to thank you all.
2. be consistent with （观点等）一致的，吻合的，不矛盾的；
The results are entirely consistent with our earlier research.
3. put forward 提出（计划、建议）；推荐；
Darwin eventually put forward a model of biological evolution.
4. come up with 想出，提出(计划、想法等)；
He urged the administration and Congress to come up with a credible package to reduce the budget deficit.