The Latest: Trump claims Cohen 'lying to reduce' jail time

The Latest: Trump claims Cohen 'lying to reduce' jail time
FILE - In this Dec. 7, 2018 file photo, Michael Cohen, former lawyer to President Donald Trump, leaves his apartment building in New York. Cohen is acknowledging that he paid a technology company to falsely improve Trump’s standing in two online polls. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on a report that President Donald Trump directed his personal attorney to lie to Congress (all times local):

10:45 a.m.

President Donald Trump is accusing his former personal attorney of “lying to reduce his jail time!” after BuzzFeed News published a report saying Trump had asked his ex-fixer, Michael Cohen, to lie to Congress in 2017.

BuzzFeed said Trump directed Cohen to lie about negotiations over a real estate project in Moscow during the 2016 election.

Trump tweeted that Cohen is “Lying to reduce his jail time!” even though he’s already been sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to tax crimes, bank fraud and campaign violations.

On Fox News Channel, White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said that the BuzzFeed story was “absolutely ludicrous,” but he repeatedly refused to deny the central allegation: that Trump directed Cohen to lie.

One of Gidley’s interviewers noted at one point: “That was not a denial of my question.”

The Democratic chairmen of two House committees pledged Friday to investigate the report, which cites two unnamed law enforcement officials.

The Associated Press has not independently confirmed the report.

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8:23 a.m.

The House intelligence committee chairman said he will “do what is necessary” to confirm a published report that President Donald Trump directed his personal attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about negotiations over a real estate project in Moscow during the 2016 election.

Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff of California says the allegation that Trump asked Cohen to lie “to curtail the investigation and cover up his business dealings with Russia is among the most serious to date.”

The report by BuzzFeed News, citing two unnamed law enforcement officials, says that Trump directed Cohen to lie to Congress and that Cohen regularly briefed Trump on the Moscow project. The Associated Press has not independently confirmed the report.

An adviser to Cohen, Lanny Davis, declined to comment.