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Giuliani: Timing of Mueller’s Cohen Bombshell Meant to Sabotage Trump’s G20 Trip

He ripped the special counsel and the former POTUS lawyer

Rudy Giuliani accused special counsel Robert Mueller of seeking to undermine President Donald Trump’s G20 summit in Argentina this week because of the drama surrounding former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen’s guilty plea in response to Mueller’s court charge on Thursday.

Trump left Thursday for the high-stakes two-day summit in Buenos Aires with key world leaders.

Cohen pleaded guilty on the same day to lying to Congress about his business dealings with Russia and the Trump Organization during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Giuliani, now a member of Trump’s legal team, blasted Cohen as a “liar” in a statement obtained by NBC News’ Hallie Jackson and criticized Mueller for the timing of this new development in his Russian collusion probe.

“NEW / statement from Rudy Giuliani related to Cohen plea deal. It begins: ‘BREAKING NEWS ALERT: Michael Cohen is a liar,'” Jackson tweeted with a picture of the statement.

Giuliani wrote, “It is hardly coincidental that the Special Counsel once again files a charge just as the President is leaving for a meeting with world leaders at the G20 Summit in Argentina. The Special Counsel did the very same thing as the President was leaving for a world summit in Helsinki.”

Trump attended the Helsinki summit in July. Shortly before it, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced that Mueller (above left) had indicted 12 Russian officials in connection with the 2016 hacking into the computer networks of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC).

While en route to the Buenos Aires summit, Trump suddenly canceled his planned meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, citing his opposition to Russia’s refusal to release the Ukrainian ships and sailors seized on Sunday.

“Based on the fact that the ships and sailors have not been returned to Ukraine from Russia, I have decided it would be best for all parties concerned to cancel my previously scheduled meeting … in Argentina with President Vladimir Putin. I look forward to a meaningful Summit again as soon as this situation is resolved!” Trump tweeted.

In criticizing Mueller’s timing, Giuliani also lashed out at Cohen, calling him a “liar.”

“Michael Cohen is a liar. It’s no surprise that Cohen lied to Congress. He’s a proven liar who is doing everything he can to get out of a long-term prison sentence for serious crimes of bank and tax fraud that had nothing to do with the Trump Organization,” Giuliani said.

The former NYC mayor also insisted the president has been “completely open and transparent” with the special counsel about the Trump Organization’s proposed hotel in Moscow.

Cohen previously claimed that discussions about the proposed Moscow project concluded before the Iowa caucuses in January 2016. Now Cohen admits he made false statements.

“In truth and in fact, and as Cohen well knew, Cohen’s representations about the Moscow Project he made to [House and Senate intelligence committees] were false and misleading,” Mueller’s officials said in a court filing that CNN obtained.

“Cohen made the false statements to … give the false impression that the Moscow Project ended.”

Related: Trump’s Former Lawyer Admits He Lied to Congress About Moscow Project

Cohen was Trump’s personal lawyer during the 2016 presidential campaign and once insisted in a Vanity Fair interview that he “would take a bullet for the president.”

Cohen reached a plea deal with prosecutors in August on eight felony counts — two of which concerned campaign finance law violations.

He pleaded guilty to facilitating payments to two women who claimed to have engaged in affairs with Trump, Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal. It isn’t clear whether any current campaign finance law or regulation would apply to the Daniels or McDougal situations.

The president’s former lawyer claimed he paid the two women with the “coordination and the direction of a candidate for federal office.”

The unnamed “candidate” presumably is Trump.

Though the original purpose of Mueller’s probe was to discern whether Trump or any of his campaign officials colluded with Russians to sway the results of the 2016 presidential election in his favor against Democrat Hillary Clinton, the investigation has now focused on allegations of obstruction of justice by Trump, perjury by others, and the president’s prior business interests.

The Cohen news came the same week that Mueller’s team accused embattled former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort of repeatedly lying to them.

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PoliZette writer Kathryn Blackhurst can be reached at [email protected].