WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump claimed Friday that his former lawyer Michael Cohen shopped a book to publishers that portrayed Trump in a favorable light, vastly at odds with Cohen's damning testimony to Congress.
In a tweet, Trump said that Cohen's manuscript was a "love letter" to him and that Congress should demand the manuscript as evidence Cohen's testimony this week was "fraudulent" and "dishonest."
Cohen told a House panel Trump was a "racist," ''a con man" and "a cheat." He testified that Trump used his inner circle to cover up politically damaging allegations about extramarital sex and lied throughout the 2016 election campaign about his business interests in Russia.
"Congress must demand the transcript of Michael Cohen's new book, given to publishers a short time ago," Trump tweeted. "Your heads will spin when you see the lies, misrepresentations and contradictions against his Thursday testimony. Like a different person! He is totally discredited!"
Cohen testified to the House oversight committee in public Wednesday and to a House intelligence panel behind closed doors on Thursday.
Reports last year indicated that Cohen was shopping a book, one favorable about Trump, and that Cohen had an agreement with a Hachette Book Group imprint before his legal troubles ended the deal.
Cohen's spokesman, Lanny Davis, said Friday that Cohen was offered a "substantial advance" nearly a year ago "for a proposal regarding a book on understanding Donald Trump. Mr. Cohen ultimately elected not to proceed."
Davis added that "POTUS has yet lied again."
A person familiar with negotiations confirmed that Cohen's book was submitted for auction and that Hachette discussed an offer but didn't reach a deal. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the person wasn't authorized to speak publicly.
Cohen, who is expected to begin a three-year prison sentence in May, told the House oversight committee on Wednesday that "it seems unbelievable that I was so mesmerized by Donald Trump that I was willing to do things for him that I knew were absolutely wrong."
Italie reported from New York. Associated Press writer Stephen Braun contributed to this report.