Trump Kicks Off North Korea Summit With Cohen on His Mind

He notably ignored shouted questions about his former lawyer.

Evan Vucci/AP

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis and more, subscribe to Mother Jones' newsletters.

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.

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.