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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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

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In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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