President-elect Donald Trump's special counsel lashed out at CNN and BuzzFeed Wednesday night after his name emerged in connection with unverified claims that Russian spies had aided Trump's successful presidential campaign.
"[The reports] affected my family, it affected my wife, my in-laws, my children, so that’s not OK," Michael Cohen told Fox News' "Hannity," and I believe CNN and BuzzFeed and others owe them a serious apology."
Late Tuesday, BuzzFeed published a dossier prepared by a former British intelligence officer that claimed, among other things, that Cohen had met with Russian operatives in Prague this past August to discuss the gathering of possible political intelligence to use against Hillary Clinton.
Soon after the report was published, Cohen denied that he was in Prague during the period alleged in the dossier. Cohen told Washingtonian magazine that the only trip he took during that time was with his son to Los Angeles, where they visited the baseball program at USC.
Cohen told Sean Hannity that Trump himself asked Cohen to produce his passport after details of the dossier were made public.
"So he said, ‘Michael, I really need to know.’" Cohen said. "I said, ‘Mr. Trump, I have never been to Prague.’ He said to me, ‘OK.’ I said, ‘You want to see my passport?’ I live close to the office, and he said ‘You mind if I see it?’ I said ‘Of course not, you’re the president-elect. I’ll be there in about two minutes.’"
Cohen added that those who disbelieve his story are asking him to prove a negative.
"How am I supposed to argue when I’m telling you this is where I was at? They’re claiming ‘Oh, no, you weren’t there.’ I said, ‘Yes, I was. I was there. I was in Los Angeles.' ‘Well, why were you there?’ What’s the difference why I was there?" Cohen asked. "I was not in Prague. They claimed that they have photos of me with some Russian government people. I said, ‘Produce the photos’ … I’ve never been to Prague and I’ve never been to Russia."