Eli Ridder | Report
After being sentenced to prison for three years the day before, an interview featuring Michael Cohen aired Friday morning, where he said he was directed by U.S. President Donald Trump to break the law.
“He directed me to make the payments,” Mr. Cohen told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos, adding that “nothing at the Trump organization was ever done unless it was run through Mr. Trump.”
The president has vehemently denied asking Cohen to pay off adult film actress Stormy Daniels and playmate Karen McDougal, and on Thursday tweeted that Cohen has pleaded guilty “to embarrass the president”.
In November, Cohen admitted to lying to the United States Congress, carrying out campaign finance violation and tex evasion, and will spend three years in jail starting on Mar. 6 of next year, and give up nearly $2 million US.
The significance of Cohen’s sentencing is that he is the first in Trump’s inner circle to be jailed as part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged Russian meddling and Trump campaign collusion with Russia in the 2016 election.
Cohen, 52, said in the interview that Trump “was very concerned about how this would affect the election”, with the purpose of the payments to help the presidential campaign in 2016.
“The man doesn’t tell the truth. And it is sad that I should take responsibility for his dirty deeds,” Cohen said.
Trump has yet to respond to the interview, but his current lawyer Rudy Giuliani blasted Cohen on CNN later on Friday, saying that the public should not believe anything Cohen says and that the lawyer lied under oath, referencing the guilty plea.
Trump has repeatedly dismissed the Mueller probe as a “witch hunt” and has denied any collusion with Russia during the 2016 presidential election.
After winning the House of Representatives in the 2018 midterms, January will have the Democratic Party launching their own probes from powerful committees over the allegation.
Image of Michael Cohen from previous files.