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Cohen: Trump knew hush payments were wrong

In an interview with ABC News, President Trump's former attorney Michael Cohen said that Trump knew the hush payments to Karen McDougal and Stormy Daniels were wrong, and Cohen was angry for his role in the payments.

Posted: Dec 15, 2018 1:33 PM
Updated: Dec 15, 2018 1:54 PM

President Donald Trump's former attorney and "fixer" Michael Cohen said his former boss knew that having Cohen arranging payments during the 2016 election to silence women who claimed to have had affairs with Trump was wrong, and that he is "done being loyal" to Trump.

Reiterating what he said in his guilty plea in August, Cohen told ABC News that Trump directed him to make the payments because Trump "was very concerned about how this would affect the election."

"(Trump) was trying to hide what you were doing correct?" ABC News' George Stephanopoulos asked Cohen in the interview that aired Friday morning.

"Correct," Cohen replied.

"And he knew it was wrong?" Stephanopoulos asked.

"Of course," said Cohen.

Cohen said he too knew what he "was doing was wrong."

"I'm done with the lying," Cohen said. "I'm done being loyal to President Trump. My first loyalty belongs to my wife, my daughter, my son and this country."

Asked why he should be believed, Cohen replied, "Because the special counsel stated emphatically that the information that I gave to them is credible and helpful. There's a substantial amount of information that they possess that corroborates the fact that I am telling the truth."

The President's lawyer Rudy Giuliani slammed Cohen, telling CNN the public can't believe a thing Cohen says and that Cohen lied under oath, referencing Cohen's guilty plea in November to lying to Congress.

A court filing in early December from special counsel Robert Mueller made clear there was evidence to back up Cohen's information.

"The information he has provided has been credible and consistent with other evidence obtained in the SCO's ongoing investigation," the filing stated.

Trump said in an interview with Fox News Thursday that he "never directed (Cohen) to do anything wrong."

"I don't think there's anybody that believes that," Cohen told ABC News of Trump's denials. "First of all, nothing at the Trump organization was ever done unless it was run through Mr. Trump."

The President's former fixer -- who once said he'd "take a bullet" for Trump -- told ABC News he "gave loyalty to someone who truthfully does not deserve loyalty" and that he "should not be the only one taking responsibility for his actions."

"So, (Trump's) still lying?" Stephanopoulos asked.

"Yes," Cohen responded.

In response to Cohen's claim, Giuliani told CNN that Trump has "never lied about the Russia investigation" and reiterated the claim that the probe is much ado about nothing.

Before he took office and early into his administration, Trump repeatedly denied any contact between members of his campaign team and Russians. At least 16 Trump associates had contacts with Russians during the 2016 campaign or transition, according to public statements, court filings, CNN reporting and reporting from other news outlets.

During a Reuters interview published late Tuesday, Trump tried to brush off a question about his associates' interactions with Russians ahead of and during his presidential campaign by saying it was just "peanut stuff."

Trump also denied having business dealings in Russia throughout the 2016 campaign. He repeatedly said, "I have nothing to do with Russia."

Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison Wednesday after pleading guilty to campaign finance violations, tax evasion and making false statements to a bank as well as to Congress.

He had pleaded guilty in August in a Manhattan US attorney's case to two campaign-finance violations tied to payments he made or orchestrated to adult-film star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal to stay silent about alleged sexual encounters with Trump.

Prosecutors have said that in executing the payments, Cohen "acted in coordination with and at the direction of" Trump, who has denied having the affairs with the two women.

Cohen told ABC News Trump is a very different person than the man he used to work for.

"I think the pressure of the job is much more than what he thought it was going to be," Cohen said. "It's not like the Trump Organization where he would bark out orders, and people would blindly follow what he wanted done. There's a system here -- he doesn't understand the system."

This story has been updated.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 319948

Reported Deaths: 7371
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22285267
Hinds20719421
Harrison18431317
Rankin13901282
Jackson13718248
Madison10263224
Lee10059176
Jones8467167
Forrest7832153
Lauderdale7261242
Lowndes6517150
Lamar635188
Lafayette6313121
Washington5425137
Bolivar4841133
Panola4670110
Oktibbeha466198
Pearl River4605147
Marshall4574105
Warren4440121
Pontotoc425873
Monroe4157135
Union415777
Neshoba4063179
Lincoln4008112
Hancock386987
Leflore3515125
Tate342486
Sunflower339491
Pike3371111
Alcorn327272
Scott320374
Yazoo314171
Adams308086
Itawamba305178
Copiah299966
Coahoma298784
Simpson298589
Tippah291968
Prentiss284161
Leake272074
Marion271280
Covington267283
Wayne264642
Grenada264087
George252251
Newton248663
Tishomingo231868
Winston230181
Jasper222148
Attala215073
Chickasaw210559
Holmes190474
Stone188433
Clay187954
Tallahatchie180041
Clarke178980
Calhoun174132
Yalobusha167840
Smith164134
Walthall135347
Greene131834
Lawrence131124
Montgomery128643
Noxubee128034
Perry127238
Amite126242
Carroll122330
Webster115032
Jefferson Davis108234
Tunica108127
Claiborne103130
Benton102325
Humphreys97533
Kemper96629
Franklin85023
Quitman82216
Choctaw79118
Wilkinson69632
Jefferson66228
Sharkey50917
Issaquena1696
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 548657

Reported Deaths: 11306
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson810031566
Mobile42105831
Madison35690525
Tuscaloosa26173458
Shelby25607254
Montgomery25081614
Baldwin21868314
Lee16278176
Calhoun14719327
Morgan14629285
Etowah14175364
Marshall12453230
Houston10781287
Elmore10293214
Limestone10179157
St. Clair10162251
Cullman9952201
Lauderdale9603250
DeKalb8972190
Talladega8460184
Walker7338280
Autauga7241113
Blount6945139
Jackson6932113
Colbert6413140
Coffee5635127
Dale4928116
Russell454841
Chilton4476116
Franklin431382
Covington4275122
Tallapoosa4138155
Escambia401680
Chambers3728124
Dallas3607158
Clarke353061
Marion3240107
Pike314378
Lawrence3133100
Winston283472
Bibb268564
Geneva257981
Marengo250565
Pickens236962
Barbour234559
Hale227278
Butler224271
Fayette218862
Henry194543
Randolph187544
Cherokee187345
Monroe180041
Washington170539
Macon163051
Clay160059
Crenshaw155957
Cleburne153444
Lamar146837
Lowndes142254
Wilcox126930
Bullock124342
Conecuh113630
Coosa111729
Perry108626
Sumter105732
Greene93634
Choctaw62125
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