Michael Cohen Speaks For First Time Since Sentencing: Says Trump is lying about Russia
Michael Cohen is a known liar himself, but apparently he’s ready to stand up for what he believes is right. In an exclusive interview with ABC News’s George Stephanopoulos, Cohen answered some of the tough questions and admitted that he “knew what [he] was doing was wrong.”
Stephanopoulos asked Cohen if President Trump knew that it was wrong to make the hush money payments that they did to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal. He responded, “Of course,” before explaining that the whole purpose was to help Trump and his presidential campaign succeed. “I gave loyalty to someone who, truthfully, does not deserve loyalty,” Cohen said.
Just yesterday, Trump tweeted, “I never directed Michael Cohen to break the law. He was a lawyer and he is supposed to know the law.”
“I don’t think there is anybody that believes that,” Cohen explained to Stephanopoulos. “First of all, nothing at the Trump organization was ever done unless it was run through Mr. Trump. He directed me to make the payments, he directed me to become involved in these matters.”
“He knows the truth. I know the truth. Others know the truth,” Cohen continued. “And here is the truth: People of the United States of America, people of the world, don’t believe what he is saying. The man doesn’t tell the truth. And it is sad that I should take responsibility for his dirty deeds.”
In another tweet yesterday Trump claimed that Cohen’s charges, per his plea agreement, “were just agreed to by him in order to embarrass the president and get a much reduced prison sentence, which he did-including the fact that his family was temporarily let off the hook,” before adding, “As a lawyer, Michael has great liability to me!”
Cohen took offense to this tweet, attacking Trump for going after his family.
“Under no circumstances do I want to embarrass the president,” Cohen insisted. “[Trump] knows the truth. I know the truth…. Instead of taking responsibility for his actions, what does he do?” Cohen asked. “He attacks my family.”
During the interview Cohen was reluctant to speak of the Mueller investigation, saying that he doesn’t want to jeopardize the probe, but he did give quite an interesting, yet brief answer when asked about Trump’s comments regarding his entanglements with Russia.
When Stephanopoulos asked Cohen if he thinks Trump is telling the truth about the Russia investigation, Cohen gave a quick but precise answer, simply saying, “No.”
Cohen also explained how Trump has transformed as a leader since taking his job in the White House.
“He’s a very different individual,” Cohen explained. “I think the pressure of the job is much more than what he thought it was going to be. It’s not like the Trump organization where he would bark out orders and people would blindly follow what he wanted done,” before continuing, “I will not be the villain of his story.”
“I’m angry at myself. I knew what I did was wrong….. I should not be the only one taking responsibility for [Trump’s] actions,” Cohen said. “My mother/father taught me right from wrong, and I didn’t display good judgement.”
Cohen says that the special counsel has obtained a lot of information, stating, “There is a substantial amount of information they possess” that corroborated the fact that “I’m telling the truth.”
While we do not know exactly what corroborating evidence Mueller and the Southern District of New York may have, at this point we know that David Pecker of AMI is a cooperating witness, meaning he could very well be corroborating many of Cohen’s stories. Other tangible forms of evidence could include emails, texts, document and even voice recordings.
When Cohen was asked for advice that he had for Donald Trump, he said, “Lay off Twitter, run the country, the way we all thought you would. Be able to take Democrat and Republicans and bring them together.”