President Donald Trump’s former attorney and “fixer” Michael Cohen admitted that he knew what he was “doing was wrong” when he arranged payments during the 2016 election to silence women who claimed to have had affairs with Trump and that Trump was “very concerned” about how revelations of the affairs may impact the election.
Asked whether Trump knew it was wrong, Cohen replied, “Of course.”
“I knew what I was doing was wrong,” Cohen said. “I stood up before the world yesterday, and I accepted the responsibility for my actions.”
Cohen said Trump directed the payments to help himself and his presidential campaign because Trump “was very concerned about how this would affect the election.”
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 said 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 he “gave loyalty to someone who truthfully does not deserve loyalty.”
Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison Wednesday after pleading guilty to campaign finance violations, tax evasion, making a false statement to a bank, and making false statements 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.