Donald Trump Jr. launches tweetstorm during Michael Cohen's testimony

With his father at a summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, Donald Trump Jr. was glued to Michael Cohen’s testimony before Congress Wednesday, firing off commentary in real time as the president’s former lawyer painted a damning picture of the man he worked for over a 12-year period.

Yahoo News photo Illustration; photos: AP, Getty, Reuters
Yahoo News photo illustration; photos: AP, Getty Images, Reuters

Even before Cohen took the stand and testified that his former boss was a “racist,” “con man” and “cheat,” the president’s son charged that the Democrats who run the House Oversight Committee were trying to “disrupt nuclear peace talks.”

Cohen began his opening statement by highlighting numerous instances that contradicted the president’s own account of events under investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller.

“To be clear: Mr. Trump knew of and directed the Trump Moscow negotiations throughout the campaign and lied about it,” Cohen said in his opening statement. “He lied about it because he never expected to win the election. He also lied about it because he stood to make hundreds of millions of dollars on the Moscow real estate project.”

As Cohen read his statement, Trump Jr. mocked his father’s fixer.

Cohen described how his relationship with Trump developed over the years.

“I wound up touting the Trump narrative for over a decade. That was my job. Always stay on message. Always defend. It monopolized my life,” Cohen said in his opening statement. “At first, I worked mostly on real estate developments and other business transactions. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Trump brought me into his personal life and private dealings. Over time, I saw his true character revealed.”

Trump Jr., and Republicans on the House Oversight Committee, sought to portray Cohen’s account as unreliable.

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, charged that Cohen was angry at Trump over not receiving a job in the White House.

“How long did you work in the White House?” Jordan asked.

“I never worked in the White House,” Cohen replied.

“That’s the point, isn’t it? You wanted to work in the White House, but you didn’t get brought to the dance,” Jordan continued.

“No, sir,” Cohen said.

Trump Jr. seized on this exchange, claiming that it showed Cohen was again lying to Congress.

Eric Trump, the president’s middle son, also piled on over Cohen’s claim that he never sought a job at the White House.

By and large, however, Trump Jr. steered clear of the specific claims made by Cohen about his father. Instead he sought to attack the messenger.

Trump Jr. and Republicans on the committee also took aim at Cohen’s lawyer, Clinton loyalist Lanny Davis.

“This is the Michael Cohen hearing presented by Lanny Davis ... the Clintons’ best friend,” Jordan said at one point. Trump Jr. picked up and pulled on that thread.

Trump Jr. also retweeted other observers, including journalist Garrett M. Graff, who asserted that Cohen had “no reason to lie.” Observers speculated that Trump Jr. hadn’t read to the end of the post.

That apparent misfire was not lost on Graff, who took advantage of the occasion to taunt Trump Jr. about what Cohen testified about the president’s opinion of his eldest son.


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