U.S. President Donald Trump has denied a report from The New York Times that he tried to get former acting attorney general Matthew G. Whitaker to put one of his allies in charge of an investigation into lawyer Michael Cohen.
The newspaper reported Tuesday that Trump called Whitaker asking for Geoffrey S. Berman, a U.S. attorney from New York, to oversee the investigation.
Whitaker told Trump that Berman, who had already recused himself from the investigation, could not be involved in it.
The probe focused on hush money Cohen paid out to women during the election campaign who claimed to have had affairs with Trump.
The New York Times cited several “American officials with direct knowledge of the call” in Tuesday’s report.
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Trump denied it just after it was published, calling the report “fake news.”
“No, not at all, I don’t know who gave you that,” Trump told reporters.” “That’s more fake news. There’s a lot of fake news out there.”
The White House refused to comment on the report to The New York Times before it was published.
Whitaker left his acting post as attorney general last week when William Barr was sworn in.