"The Man Doesn't Tell Truth": Ex-Lawyer Michael Cohen On Trump

Washington: President Donald Trump knew it was wrong to order election-eve hush money paid to two women who claimed to have had affairs with him, his former lawyer Michael Cohen said in an interview to be broadcast Friday.

Trump acted because he "was very concerned about how this would affect the election," Cohen told ABC News of the women's allegations in his first comments since being sentenced to three years in prison on Thursday.

Trump has said he never directed Cohen to break the law. But Cohen, asked if Trump knew the payments to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal were wrong, said "of course."

Cohen challenged Trump's assertion that he never told him to break the law.

"I don't think there is anybody that believes that," Cohen told George Stephanopoulos on the program "Good Morning America." ABC released excerpts of the interview ahead of its full airing.

"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," Cohen said.

"He knows the truth. I know the truth. Others know the truth," Cohen added.

"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," said Cohen.

Trump denies having affairs with the women who were paid off just weeks before the election in which Trump beat Hillary Clinton.

The US president enters his third year in office facing an increasingly perilous situation as federal prosecutors and the special investigation into alleged collusion with Russia close in on him and his inner circle.

But he was as combative as ever on Twitter Thursday when he sought to distance himself from Cohen, his loyal fixer for a decade.

In his first public reaction since Cohen was sentenced, Trump said he was the victim of the attorney's malpractice.

"He was a lawyer and he is supposed to know the law," Trump tweeted. "It is called 'advice of counsel,' and a lawyer has great liability if a mistake is made. That is why they get paid."

Later, he told Fox News that he was being singled out for a grilling over payments that would not cause a ripple elsewhere among politicians.

"Nobody except for me would be looked at like this, nobody," he said.

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Cohen says Trump knew about Trump Tower meeting with Russians: CNN

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen said that Trump knew in advance about a June 2016 meeting in Trump Tower at which Russians offered to provide damaging information about his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, CNN reported on Thursday.

A combination photo shows U.S. President Donald Trump's onetime personal attorney, Michael Cohen.

CNN, citing unnamed sources with knowledge of the matter, said Cohen is willing to make that assertion to Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the U.S. 2016 presidential campaign.

“He cannot be believed,” Rudy Giuliani, a lawyer for Trump, told Reuters on Thursday, referring to Cohen. “If they rely on him ... it would destroy whatever case they have.” Giuliani was referring to Mueller’s investigation.

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Cohen did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Reuters. His attorney Lanny Davis declined to comment.

Peter Carr, a spokesman for Mueller, declined to comment. Nicholas Biase, a spokesman for Manhattan federal prosecutors, also declined to comment.

Federal prosecutors in New York are investigating Cohen for possible bank and tax fraud, and for possible campaign law violations linked to a $130,000 payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels, who has claimed she had a sexual encounter with Trump, and other matters related to Trump’s campaign, a person familiar with the investigation has told Reuters.

Cohen has not been charged with any crime. Trump has denied having had an encounter with Daniels.

Previously Trump has denied knowing in advance that the Trump Tower meeting was going to take place, and he has denied that there was any collusion between his campaign and Russia. Moscow has denied meddling in the election.

Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., along with Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and senior campaign aide Paul Manafort took part in the meeting with Nataliya Veselnitskaya, a Russian lawyer and acknowledged Kremlin informant.

Donald Trump Jr. told investigators from the Senate Judiciary Committee in September 2017 that he did not tell his father about the meeting beforehand, according to documents released by the committee.

Alan Futerfas, a lawyer for the Trump Organization and Donald Trump Jr., told Reuters, “Donald Trump Jr. has been professional and responsible throughout the Mueller and Congressional investigations. We are very confident of the accuracy and reliability of the information that has been provided by Mr. Trump, Jr., and on his behalf.”

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