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Explosive memos claim Trump's lawyer met with Kremlin officials — but he may have been mistaken for a person with the same name

Natasha Bertrand

(Michael Cohen, an attorney for President-elect Donald Trump.Richard Drew/AP)
Memos authored by a British operative and provided to US intelligence officials about President-elect Donald Trump's ties to Russia claim that Trump's lawyer, Michael Cohen, met secretly with Kremlin officials in Prague in August 2016.

Cohen has dismissed the reports on the memos as "fake news," and accounts corroborating his version of events have surfaced since the material in the memos, which is unverified, was published in full by BuzzFeed on Tuesday.

"Speaking to a compatriot and friend on 19 October 2016, a Kremlin insider provided further details of reported clandestine meeting/s between Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's lawyer Michael COHEN and Kremlin representatives in August 2016," the dossier reads.

"The Kremlin insider clearly indicated to his/her friend that the reported contact/s took place in Prague, Czech Republic," it said.

The memos claimed that the Trump campaign and the Kremlin had established an "exchange of information" of "mutual benefit" that was in part facilitated by Cohen.

Cohen denied the allegations on Twitter on Tuesday night, shortly after CNN broke the story that the FBI and the CIA had presented a synopsis of the unidentified British operative's intelligence to Trump last week as part of a classified report.

"I have never been to Prague in my life. #fakenews," Cohen tweeted. He included a photo of his passport.

Cohen told The Atlantic that he was in New York for the better part of August and visited the University of Southern California with his son at the end of the month to check out its baseball team. Their visit on August 29 was corroborated by a person within USC baseball who talked with The Atlantic.

On Wednesday, a US government source told CNN's Jake Tapper that a different Michael Cohen, not Trump's lawyer, was in Prague in August and September 2016.

The memos from the British operative, who is apparently considered legitimate by US intelligence officials, were compiled in a dossier that has been circulating among journalists and government officials since last year.

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