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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Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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