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March 05, 2019

*-- Trump: Michael Cohen's unpublished book contradicts testimony --*

WarningPresident Donald Trump blasted his former personal lawyer Michael Cohen on Twitter Friday morning, saying Cohen proposed a book praising him that contradicts much of his congressional testimony.

Cohen called his former boss a "racist" a "con man" and a "cheat" when he testified before the House oversight committee Wednesday. He detailed Trump's dealings with Russia, his attitudes toward black people and the intoxicating feeling he said he got being around Trump to the point that he ignored his conscience for a decade.

He also warned what might happen if Trump loses his reelection bid in 2020.

"Given my experience working for Mr. Trump, I fear that if he loses the election in 2020 that there will never be a peaceful transition of power," he said. And this is why I agreed to appear before you today."

Trump, now back in the United States from his trip to Vietnam, called Cohen "discredited" and said the testimony was full of "lies, misrepresentations and contradictions" when compared to the transcript of the book he planned to write.

"Michael Cohen's book manuscript shows that he committed perjury on a scale not seen before," Trump said. "He must have forgotten about his book when he testified. What does Hillary Clinton's lawyer, Lanny Davis, say about this one. Is he being paid by Crooked Hillary. User her lawyer?"

Trump called on Congress to demand a transcript of Cohen's unpublished book.

On Thursday, Cohen concluded three days of testimony, two of which were closed to the public. Now Cohen is being asked to come back to the House intelligence committee for more questioning on March 6. Russian-born business associate Felix Sater will have a public hearing March 14, when he will likely answer questions about the shelved project to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.

Intelligence committee chairman Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said the committee has more questions for Cohen. With Sater, the intelligence committee "is going to try to do as much as we can in the open," Schiff said.

Schiff said a transcript of Cohen's closed-door testimony could be released after a Justice Department review. He said no questions went unanswered Thursday, adding that Cohen was "fully cooperative."

"This has obviously been an excruciating time for him," Schiff said. "We are very grateful that he was as forthcoming as he was."

Cohen pleaded guilty in New York in August to tax evasion, making false bank statements and making illegal campaign contributions for paying hush money to two women who allegedly had affairs with Trump. Cohen also pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about the Moscow skyscraper negotiations.

A veteran IRS employee was indicted Thursday on charges that he leaked banking records to the attorney for adult film star Stormy Daniels in May. John C. Fry, 54, faces charges of unauthorized disclosure, misuse of a computer and illegal use of a Social Security number. He was released from federal court in San Francisco on $50,000 bond.

Fry combed through IRS databases for dirt on Cohen and eventually found some suspicious transactions, officials said. He faces up to 15 years in prison and a $750,000 fine if convicted on all counts.