In the wake of McClatchy’s bombshell story about Michael Cohen’s cell phone being used near Prague in the summer of 2016, Cohen himself categorically denied — three times via Twitter — that he’d ever been to the Czech Republic.
— Michael Cohen (@MichaelCohen212) December 27, 2018
Well, Michael Cohen might want to ask Michael Cohen about this, because it’s not what Michael Cohen has said in the past.
In fact, in an interview with Mother Jones’ David Corn after the 2016 election, Cohen acknowledged that he had once been to Prague — 14 years earlier.
This April, after Cohen tweeted this …
Bad reporting, bad information and bad story by same reporter Peter Stone @McClatchyDC. No matter how many times or ways they write it, I have never been to Prague. I was in LA with my son. Proven! https://t.co/ra7nwjUA0X
— Michael Cohen (@MichaelCohen212) April 14, 2018
… Corn looked back at the notes he’d taken while reporting on the Steele dossier and discovered Cohen had told him he had indeed been in Prague years before:
In the weeks after the election, the details in Steele’s dispatches remained secret, and I spent weeks trying to determine if any of the allegations could be substantiated. The claim that Cohen met secretly with Russians seemed to be one of the tales that might be confirmable. I took a stab at that. While pursuing that angle, I called Cohen. He insisted that there had been no trip to Prague and that he had met with no Russians during the campaign.
This week I reviewed my notes from that phone call. Here’s the direct quote from Cohen: “I haven’t been to Prague in 14 years. I was in Prague for one afternoon 14 years ago.”
What’s notable? In that conversation, Cohen acknowledged he had once been to Prague—but a long time ago. In his recent denial, Cohen, whose home and office were raided last week by FBI agents seeking records related to the Stormy Daniels case and other matters (including taxi medallions), asserted he had “never” been to Prague.
So what’s going on here?
Either Cohen is lying now (likely), or he lied to Corn (possible, but extremely unlikely), or he forgot he’d ever been to Prague. Now, I could see forgetting you’ve ever been in Hayward, Wisconsin, but Prague? And what kind of weirdly selective brain damage could wipe the memories of Prague from your mind in two short years?
I suppose there’s an outside chance that Corn either mistranscribed his conversation with Cohen or is lying about what he found in his notes. But why?
It’s odd that a guy who’s already cooperating with Robert Mueller would want to pile more lies onto his already long record of truth-not-telling, but it sure does look like he’s lying again.
And if he is, we can safely assume that whatever happened in Prague was a pretty big deal.
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