These are the questions that President Trump should be answering in Argentina today at the G-20:
"Mr President how was your meeting with China's president?"
"Mr President have you ended the trade war?"
"Mr president… insert anything relevant here that might show we've solved any of our problems."
But that's probably not going to happen. Robert Muller - for the second time - has waited until President Trump was traveling to a world summit to drop a Russia investigation bomb. The first time he did this, Muller indicted twelve Russian military intelligence officials for the 2016 email hacks. Kind of significant being that Trump was going to meet Putin. The media frenzy shifted to Muller's investigation. Now fast forward to yesterday. The president had two very key meetings on his docket with Xi Jinping of China and Vladimir Putin of Russia. Thankfully the China meeting is still on, but President Trump has cancelled his meeting with Putin. Now I'd personally love to hear how the situation in Ukraine influenced that decision, but will any journalist talk about that or will they just be asking questions about Michael Cohen?
It remains to be seen. Muller's Michael Cohen bomb yesterday rocked the mainstream media. It's pretty much all you heard about. Cohen is expected to plead guilty in making false statements to Congress, regarding comments he made on a business deal in Moscow. Cohen previously claimed that the deal to build a Trump Tower in Moscow ended by January 2016, now he's saying that's false. He claims that he continued to brief both the president AND the family through the summer of that year.
This was more like a message Muller wanted to send to the president.
President Trump has previously claimed in the public - not under oath… and that's key here - that, by that time, he didn't have any business deals ongoing in Russia. The media was acting yesterday as if this was the ultimate smoking gun, but we still don't know anything new from this. At the moment, all this is, is Cohen's word against the president that there was a business deal being pursued in Russia - that was never actually completed - and it was going down during the campaign. Could that be significant? Yes, but - and this is key - unless the president addressed this issue as part of his formal written responses to Muller, even if he has said anything contrary in the public, there's nothing indictable here. And Cohen would still have to provide some kind of document to prove his claim… an email, letter, contract with the president's signature… something.
So a smoking gun right now? No. But it could be significant in the future if there's more there. But we also know that this is a very weak thing for Cohen to confess to. Lying to Congress very rarely brings any kind of punishment. This was more like a message Muller wanted to send to the president. He wanted to say "look… I'm still here, I've got your boy, he's singing like a canary, and this is only the beginning."