On Friday morning, President Donald Trump tweeted about his business plans to build a Trump Tower in Russia, a scheme which we now know he continued to carry forward while running for president in 2016.
These tweets are a strange attempt to re-write history. After all, the recent plea bargain struck by Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen is newsworthy precisely because he now says that the plans for building a Trump Tower in Moscow continued into the summer of 2016. That’s very different than Cohen’s previous testimony that the plan ended in January 0f 2016.
It’s also very different than Trump’s previous version of the story. As Jonathan Chait notes in New York, “During the 2016 campaign, and for years after, Donald Trump insisted that he had no dealings with Russia whatsoever. He also assured the public that we could take his word on this, and there was no need to look at his tax returns. But yesterday’s confession in open court by Michael Cohen shows that Trump was attempting to do business in Russia during the campaign, with high-level officials from the same government that was interceding on Trump’s behalf.”
Trump’s new tweet confirms Cohen’s latest testimony. What Trump needs to explains is why his “very legal” and “very cool” project was previously lied about by both himself and others.