He also said he had briefed Trump about the project's progress and members of his family.
Continued Giuliani: "It is important to understand that documents that the special counsel's office is using to show that Cohen lied to Congress were voluntarily disclosed by the Trump Organization because there was nothing to hide".
"Even if he was right, it doesn't matter because I was allowed to do whatever I wanted during the campaign", Trump said. The emails were exchanged in late 2015 and included in a tranche of emails turned over to congressional committees by the Trump Organization.
Donald Trump and his aides continued negotiations about a potential Trump Tower project in Moscow well into the 2016 presidential campaign, his ex-lawyer Michael Cohenacknowledged in a guilty plea in a NY federal court on Thursday.
Trump's opponents faulted what they called the deepening air of criminality around the president's sometime-associates, several of whom have pleaded guilty in the Russian Federation case or associated investigations.
In the letter, Cohen "knowingly and deliberately" falsely represented that the Moscow project ended in January 2016, that he never agreed to travel to Russia in connection with the project and "never considered" asking Trump to travel for the project, and did not recall any Russian government response or contact about the Moscow project. Cohen admitted he lied to Congress about key details in the negotiations for the Moscow tower, most notably that those talks stretched much deeper into the presidential campaign than previously thought, to June of 2016.
He declined to identify who might be involved or how often he has referred cases to Mueller, but Burr did allude to Cohen's plea as an example of what he called the consequences that could be involved.
Trump unleashed a tirade against Cohen after his plea deal was announced, saying, "So very simply, Michael Cohen is lying".
"I made these misstatements to be consistent with Individual 1's political messaging and out of loyalty to Individual 1", he told the packed courtroom in Lower Manhattan. And they don't directly accuse the president of any criminal wrongdoing or indicate that the president faces legal jeopardy. Not only does the government no longer have the cooperation of one of Trump's closest lieutenants; he was serving, in effect, as a mole for the president and his lawyers. It is the second time the lawyer's legal woes have entangled Trump, coming months after Cohen said the president directed him to make hush money payments to two women who said they had sex with Trump.
But Trump has continually surfaced in Mueller's investigation, with references to him in Cohen's plea on Thursday and in a draft plea offer extended to conservative writer and conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi and made public this week.
Cohen is the first person charged by Mueller with lying to Congress, an indication the special counsel is prepared to treat that offense as seriously as lying to federal agents.
Sen. Mark Warner's comments Thursday came after Trump's former lawyer, Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty to making false statements to Warner's committee.
The proposal to build a tower bearing Trump's name in the Russian capital ultimately did not materialize. Cohen also said he falsely told Congress he never took any steps toward traveling to Russian Federation when in fact he had discussed going there, although he never went.
Still, the case underscores how Trump's business entity, the Trump Organization, was negotiating business in Moscow at the same time investigators believe Russians were meddling on his behalf in the 2016 election, and that associates of the president were mining Russian connections during the race.
But that even if Cohen weren't lying, the president said, he hadn't broken any law.
The president is reacting to Cohen's guilty plea Thursday to lying to Congress about work he did on a Trump real estate project in Russian Federation. Cohen told the committee he never heard back from Peskov and the tower deal collapsed by the end of that month. They concern some of the central questions of the investigation, including why the incoming Trump administration discouraged Russian Federation from retaliating over sanctions imposed for election hacking; who knew what when about illegally obtained Democratic emails; and how plans for a Trump Tower in Moscow came together and fell apart. His attorney, however, said that Michael Cohen has cooperated, that Michael Cohen will continue to cooperate.
Cohen made a surprise appearance Thursday in a NY courtroom to enter the plea. Not all statements that are false can be prosecuted, and the law applies to "administrative matters" or an investigation or review, according to a 2012 book by former New York Democratic Rep. Elizabeth Holtzman.
Trump has denied publicly that he had any knowledge at the time and said as much in written answers recently given to Mueller's office, according to reports on Wednesday.
The surprise plea came just days after prosecutors revealed that former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort's separate plea deal fell apart over allegations that he lied to investigators, a development that could lead to new charges.
One of the prosecutors working with Special Counsel Robert Mueller was present in the courtroom.
Mueller has yet to answer definitively the central questions in the Russian Federation probe.