Former Trump attorney and “fixer” Michael Cohen dropped some new bombshells on Friday when he told ABC News that Donald Trump knew that it was “wrong” when he paid hush money to two former mistresses during the 2016 presidential campaign.
He also said that Trump knew about Donald Trump, Jr. and other top campaign officials meeting with a Russian attorney promising dirt on Hillary Clinton in Trump Tower in June of 2016.
During the interview, Cohen didn’t deny or try to hide his actions, admitting that he knowingly committed crimes to help Trump get elected two years ago.
“I knew what I was doing was wrong,” Cohen said. “I stood up before the world and I accepted the responsibility for my actions.”
ABC’s George Stephanopoulos then asked Cohen if President Trump himself definitely knew it was wrong to authorize the payments.
“Of course,” Cohen replied, and then added that Trump was extremely concerned about how the possible disclosure of his past extramarital affairs would impact his presidential hopes. They met to discuss payoffs shortly after the release of the highly-publicized “Access Hollywood” tape in which he bragged about sexually assaulting women by grabbing their genitals.
Cohen said he was very sad to see Trump still refuse to admit any wrongdoing, but he was not surprised.
“Instead of him taking responsibility for his actions, what does he do? He attacks my family,” Cohen said.
The 52-year-old Cohen was sentenced Wednesday to 36 months in prison for a variety of charges related to his work for the president, and he told ABC that Trump was lying when he said he never directed his attorney to break the law.
“I don’t think there is anybody that believes that,” Cohen told 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.”
With respect to Trump’s denials that he knew about the June 9, 2016, meeting in Trump Tower, which is part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, Cohen said the president could not be trusted about anything.
“He knows the truth. I know the truth. Others know the truth,” Cohen said. “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.”
Cohen has agreed to cooperate with investigators in several areas, but he refused to discuss with ABC what he had already told them — and said he no longer had any reason to lie.
“I gave loyalty to someone who, truthfully, does not deserve loyalty,” Cohen concluded.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.