Ukrainian diplomats paid $400,000 to arrange a meeting in June last year between President Petro Poroshenko and US President Donald Trump, the BBC revealed in a report on May 24.
"The payment was arranged by intermediaries acting for Ukraine's leader, Petro Poroshenko, the sources said, though Mr Cohen was not registered as a representative of Ukraine as required by US law," the BBC said in its report adding that Cohen denies the report.
The money was paid to Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen to organise the meeting that was important for Poroshenko, who was keen to show solidarity between Washington and Kyiv. The meeting came at the same time as Trump met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov where Trump revealed sensitive Israeli intelligence to the Russians and caused yet more accusations that he is too close to the Putin administration.
Cohen was approached as Ukrainian lobbyists in Washington could not arrange anything more than a brief photo opp for Poroshenko, according to the report. The BBC claim to have three sources for the information with a second source claiming the payment was actually $600,000.
Michael Avenatti, the lawyer that represents a porn actress, Stormy Daniels, in legal action against President Trump also cooborated the story, claiming that Cohen filled a Suspicious Activity Report to banks explaining the money was paid to him by "Ukrainian interests."
Poroshenko’s office issued a very angry denial and threatened to sue the BBC, saying the report was a “blatant lie, slander and fake.”
The statement claims that the meeting was organised in the normal way through diplomatic channels and that no money was paid.
Poroshenko’s government is in deep political trouble and performing very poorly in the polls ahead of parliamentary and presidential elections next year.