Just wow. Donald Trump's new fixer Rudy Giuliani broke another potentially huge story wide open Monday morning with his admission that Michael Cohen is claiming Team Trump held a "strategy" session two days in advance of the now infamous June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with a Russian lawyer/government agent.
Somewhere in the muddle of Giuliani's sometimes incoherent interview with CNN, he makes clear the meeting Cohen claims happened on June 7, 2016, included five Trump aides, four of whom he names: Don Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, and Rick Gates. Importantly, Gates—formerly both a business partner of Manafort and a campaign aide—is cooperating with the special counsel's Russia probe.
Giuliani's main point of disclosing the claim is to insist that Trump wasn't in attendance at the advance meeting. But in the process, Giuliani admits the meeting was allegedly held to talk about "the strategy of the meeting with the Russians."
During the revelation, Giuliani blurs the line between what he says Cohen is claiming and he himself is admitting happened. At one point, CNN’s Alisyn Camerota queries, "And that's a real meeting?"
Giuliani responds, "That's a real meeting on another provable subject in which [Trump] did not participate."
But the whole idea that an advance meeting took place would just blow Don Jr.'s claim that the June 9 meeting was a nothingburger unworthy of reporting to Trump out of the water. Indeed, it would mean Team Trump considered it a high-level meeting in which they were deadly serious about getting "dirt" on Hillary Clinton.
June 7, 2016, was also the day on which then-candidate Trump promised that he would give a "major speech" within the next week "discussing all of the things that have taken place with the Clintons." That speech never materialized and no explanation was ever given.
Watch the segment below.