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: 145636

Reported Deaths: 3745
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto963299
Hinds9584195
Harrison6848109
Jackson6124118
Rankin528598
Lee484295
Madison4633105
Forrest368186
Jones345287
Lauderdale3350143
Lafayette315049
Washington3097107
Lamar281849
Oktibbeha239261
Bolivar239083
Lowndes228863
Neshoba2164115
Panola211749
Marshall208350
Leflore200890
Pontotoc194728
Monroe190277
Sunflower189755
Lincoln186165
Warren172257
Tate164251
Union160925
Pike160458
Copiah158940
Yazoo151239
Scott150229
Itawamba147634
Coahoma147443
Pearl River144467
Simpson144253
Alcorn143925
Prentiss140429
Grenada136945
Adams136548
Leake131843
Holmes124961
George122224
Tippah121530
Covington117636
Winston116624
Wayne115823
Hancock114139
Marion111046
Attala107833
Tishomingo106142
Newton102729
Chickasaw102432
Tallahatchie95527
Clarke88553
Clay87027
Jasper81122
Walthall75028
Stone72414
Montgomery71925
Calhoun71613
Carroll70614
Lawrence70214
Yalobusha69427
Noxubee69217
Smith68816
Perry65225
Tunica59619
Greene58422
Claiborne57416
Jefferson Davis54217
Humphreys52618
Amite51214
Benton48417
Quitman4796
Webster42014
Kemper40917
Wilkinson38622
Jefferson33811
Franklin3235
Choctaw3077
Sharkey30617
Issaquena1114
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 236865

Reported Deaths: 3472
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson31043491
Mobile19446360
Tuscaloosa12684150
Madison12528146
Montgomery12122235
Shelby992276
Baldwin837684
Lee759765
Morgan626247
Calhoun6049113
Etowah600564
Marshall596153
Houston510838
DeKalb469635
Cullman421136
Limestone408844
St. Clair403955
Elmore398961
Lauderdale387253
Walker356199
Talladega339044
Jackson302524
Colbert297641
Blount282236
Autauga266139
Franklin246233
Coffee236615
Dale228454
Dallas222331
Russell21923
Chilton218537
Covington215933
Escambia196931
Tallapoosa171790
Chambers171448
Pike156014
Clarke155319
Marion135535
Winston126623
Lawrence123936
Geneva11848
Pickens117618
Marengo117424
Barbour116710
Bibb115717
Butler114341
Randolph100321
Cherokee99624
Hale93231
Washington89918
Clay89623
Fayette86216
Henry8436
Lowndes78929
Monroe77911
Cleburne75614
Macon71720
Crenshaw70330
Bullock69019
Conecuh68214
Perry6726
Lamar6337
Wilcox62818
Sumter56222
Choctaw41813
Greene41317
Coosa3144
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