UPDATE: BBC Retracts, Apologizes for Report on Ukraine President and Michael Cohen


UPDATE–– 3/29/19: The BBC has since retracted this report and as of March 28th, 2019, has apologized to President Poroshenko for it, and will be paying him damages.

The article as it originally appeared is below.

So it turns out the extent of Michael Cohen‘s financial dealings may be a smidge bigger than previously thought.

The BBC is exclusively reporting this morning on $400,000 Cohen received to “fix talks between the Ukrainian president and President Trump”:

The payment was arranged by intermediaries acting for Ukraine’s leader, Petro Poroshenko, the sources said, though Cohen was not registered as a representative of Ukraine as required by US law…

Shortly after the Ukrainian president returned home, his country’s anti-corruption agency stopped its investigation into Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort.

An anonymous senior Ukrainian intel officer said President Poroshenko “decided to establish a back channel to Trump” and a former aide of his got a Ukrainian MP to help out and they eventually found Cohen.

Trump had met with Poroshenko last June and the report says there’s “no suggestion” he was aware of this payment.

However, they may not have gotten their money’s worth:

Cohen’s fee was for getting Poroshenko more than just an embarrassingly brief few minutes of small talk and a handshake, the senior official said. But negotiations continued until the early hours of the day of the visit.

The Ukrainian side were angry, the official went on, because Cohen had taken “hundreds of thousands” of dollars from them for something it seemed he could not deliver.

Right up until the last moment, the Ukrainian leader was uncertain if he would avoid humiliation.

“Poroshenko’s inner circle were shocked by how dirty this whole arrangement [with Cohen] was.”

Needless to say, this only raises more questions about Cohen’s financial dealings, following recent reports about money he received from companies he offered services to.

[image via Mark Wilson / Getty Images]

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Josh Feldman is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: josh@mediaite.com Follow him on Twitter: @feldmaniac