ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) President Donald Trump's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen told the U.S. Congress on Wednesday that Trump is a "racist," a "conman" and a "cheat".
"Mr. Trump is a racist.
The country has seen Mr. Trump court white supremacists and bigots.
You have heard him call poorer countries "shitholes," Cohen said.
Cohen, Trump's onetime "fixer," said Trump directed negotiations for a real estate project in Moscow during the White House race even as Trump publicly said he had no business interests in Russia, according to Cohen's prepared testimony.
"I am ashamed because I know what Mr. Trump is.
He is a racist.
He is a conman.
He is a cheat," Cohen said in an opening statement to a House of Representatives committee.
"Donald Trump is a man who ran for office to make his brand great, not to make our country great," Cohen said.
"He had no desire or intention to lead this nation - only to market himself and to build his wealth and power." Although many accusations against Trump emerged in news reports during his 2016 campaign and since he took office, the televised congressional testimony of a former loyalist provides a detailed public record with the potential to influence a large U.S. audience.
But Trump will take comfort in Cohen's assertion that he had no direct knowledge of any collusion between his 2016 campaign team and Russia to influence the election, and will likely dismiss Cohen as a liar out to take down his former employer to save his own skin.