Trump Kicks Off North Korea Summit With Cohen on His Mind

He notably ignored shouted questions about his former lawyer.

Evan Vucci/AP

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President Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un met face to face on Wednesday in Hanoi, Vietnam, to begin their second nuclear summit. The two leaders shook hands before the international press and expressed hope for a productive meeting ahead.

“I think this one hopefully will be equal or greater than the first,” Trump said. “We have made a lot of progress. I think the biggest progress was our relationship is really a good one.”

But the president’s mind also was clearly focused on the imminent testimony of his former lawyer and longtime fixer Michael Cohen, who in a few hours will publicly appear before Congress to allege that Trump is a “racist” and a “con man,” according to a draft of his opening remarks. That statement will also include the damning allegation that Trump knew in advance about WikiLeaks’ plans to release hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 presidential election.

Shortly before meeting with the North Korean leader on Wednesday, Trump attacked Cohen on Twitter:

He notably ignored shouted questions about Cohen from reporters in Hanoi. According to a senior White House official, Trump is planning to “stay up overnight in Hanoi” to watch Cohen’s much-anticipated hearing.

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DONALD TRUMP & DEMOCRACY

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And we need your support like never before to vigorously fight back against the existential threats American democracy and journalism face. We’re running behind our online fundraising targets and urgently need all hands on deck right now. We can’t afford to come up short—we have no cushion; we leave it all on the field.

Please help with a donation today if you can—even just a few bucks helps. Not ready to donate but interested in our work? Sign up for our Daily newsletter to stay well-informed—and see what makes our people-powered, not profit-driven, journalism special.

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