Trump calls Cohen a 'weak person' and a 'liar'

President Donald Trump fired back at his former personal attorney after news broke earlier Thursday that Cohen had pleaded guilty to making false statements to Congress.
2:30 | 11/30/18

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Transcript for Trump calls Cohen a 'weak person' and a 'liar'
The president, as you saw there, was furious today, and made the point that he had every right to continue working on his business during the campaign, saying if he had lost, he would have gone right back to work. But tonight, after saying this was also a good time for a planned meeting with Vladimir Putin this weekend, that meeting, an hour later, was abruptly cancelled. ABC's chief white house correspondent Jonathan Karl is in Argentina tonight. Reporter: After calling Michael Cohen a liar, a defiant president trump today did not deny that he was working on a Moscow trump tower deal during the campaign. When I run for president, that doesn't mean I'm not allowed to do business. I was doing a lot of different things when I was running. After I won, obviously, I don't do business. Reporter: He says he ditched the Moscow project in early 2016, well before he clinched the Republican nomination, but he said he didn't have to. There would be nothing wrong if I did do it. I was running my business while I was campaigning. There was a good chance that I wouldn't have won, in which case I would have gotten back into the business and why should I lose lots of opportunities? Reporter: Business deals aside, Donald Trump has lavished praise on Vladimir Putin. He's done it as president, and he did it repeatedly during the campaign. I respect Putin, he's a strong leader. I can tell you that. Unlike what we have, we have a pathetic leader. Reporter: And today, just minutes before departing to for Argentina for a big summit with the leaders of the world's top 20 economies, he confirmed plans to have a one-on-one meeting with Putin, who is also attending the summit. I think it's a very good time to have the meeting. Reporter: But less than an hour later, president trump canceled his Putin meeting with a tweet while he was aboard air force one, citing Russia's seizure of three Ukrainian ships earlier this week. And Jonathan Karl with us live tonight. And Jon, we know president trump was also asked about trump tower Moscow, the project. He was asked about the special own semi, too, in the written answers and questions. Key question tonight, though, is whether anything in the president's written responses might fight what we learned Cohen has now said. Reporter: That is a key question, David. The president's legal team today said that the president's written answers were largely consistent with what Cohen said about that Moscow trump tower project, but that would seem to suggest that the president's written answers are contradictory to what he's said publicly over and over again over the past two years, that he simply had no business dealings whatsoever with Moscow. David? Jon Karl is in Argentina for the summit. And Jon, we'll see you tomorrow night right here.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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