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Lawyer: Cohen's statements do not contradict Trump Jr. on Russia deals

"I have no concerns about Donald Trump Jr.'s information," said his attorney, Alan Futerfas. "He was open, straightforward, forthright and honest."
Image: Donald Trump Jr. in Conroe
Donald Trump Jr. speaks to the public at a rally for Senator Ted Cruz in Conroe, Texas, on Oct 3, 2018. is running against Beto O'Rourke for Senate in the midterm elections.Larry W. Smith / EPA file

Media reports Friday suggested former Trump Organization lawyer Michael Cohen's statements to a judge contradicted Donald Trump Jr.'s 2017 testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee about Trump family business interests in Russia.

But Trump Jr.'s attorney Alan Futerfas told NBC News there is no contradiction.

Trump Jr's testimony "clearly referred to two different proposals," Futerfas said, one with Russian oligarch Aras Agalarov and his son Emin that ended in 2014, and another with long-time Trump associate Felix Sater that started in 2015.

"I have no concerns about Donald Trump Jr.'s information. He was open, straightforward, forthright and honest," Futerfas said.

Of the two proposed deals, Trump Jr. was more involved in talks with the Agalarovs for a Trump building in Moscow, according to a person with knowledge, but the deal was only preliminary and was soon scrapped.

Trump Jr. testified that deal "sort of faded away I believe at the end of '14… Certainly not '16."

An NPR story Friday cited that testimony as evidence that his testimony contradicted Cohen's statements. The story was later updated.

Trump Jr. also told the Judiciary Committee about a second Moscow development proposal that was initiated in 2015. That proposal was honchoed by Cohen and Sater, a Russian-born U.S. citizen who worked on the Trump Soho building that was completed in 2008 in New York. Sater is a felon who pleaded guilty to participating in stock fraud in 1998.

Trump Jr. testified that he was only "peripherally aware" of the deal Sater and Cohen were trying to put together.

Cohen pleaded guilty Thursday to lying to Congress about the deal he worked on. Court documents filed Thursday said Cohen made false statements to investigators "to (1) minimize links between the Moscow Project and [Trump] and (2) give the false impression that the Moscow Project ended before 'the Iowa caucuses and ... the very first primary,' in hopes of limiting the ongoing Russia investigations."

Cohen also told the judge that he briefed President Trump and his family members on the deal multiple times.

Trump addressed the Cohen/Sater Moscow project directly in speaking to reporters on Air Force One Thursday.

"I was running my business while I was campaigning," he said. "There was a good chance that I wouldn't have won, in which case I would have gone back into the business, and why should I lose lots of opportunities?"