Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former lawyer, leaves federal court after his sentencing in New York, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

Ex-Trump lawyer: Hush money paid over election concerns

Michael Cohen was sentenced Wednesday to three years in federal prison

President Donald Trump’s longtime personal lawyer said Friday that Trump directed him to buy the silence of two women during the 2016 election because the then-candidate was “very concerned” about how their stories of alleged affairs with him “would affect the election.”

Michael Cohen — who for more than a decade was a key power player in the Trump Organization and a fixture in Trump’s political life — said he “gave loyalty to someone who, truthfully, does not deserve loyalty.” Cohen spoke in an interview with ABC that aired Friday on “Good Morning America.”

RELATED: Judge gives Michael Cohen 3 years in prison

Cohen appeared shaken over the events that swiftly took him from Trump’s “fixer” to a man facing three years in prison.

“I am done with the lying,” Cohen said. “I am done being loyal to President Trump.”

He added: “I will not be the villain of this story.”

Cohen was sentenced Wednesday to three years in federal prison. He pleaded guilty to several charges, including campaign finance violations and lying to Congress. Prosecutors have said Trump directed Cohen to arrange the payments to buy the silence of porn actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal in the run-up to the 2016 campaign.

READ MORE: Michael Cohen pleads guilty to lying to congress

Asked whether the president also knew it was wrong to make the payments, Cohen said, “Of course.” But Cohen did not provide any specific evidence or detail in the interview.

Trump has denied that he directed Cohen to break the law and has asserted in a barrage of tweets over the last several weeks that Cohen is a “liar” who cut a deal in order to get a reduced prison sentence.

In a separate case, Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about his work on a possible Trump real estate project in Moscow and said he did so to be consistent with Trump’s “political messaging.”

The charges in that case were brought by special counsel Robert Mueller’s office and Mueller’s prosecutors have said Cohen has provided key information in their investigation. Cohen has said he is continuing to co-operate with investigators.

The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

COVID-19: Isolation exemptions to frontline workers a danger to patients, say Island Health employees

Staff exempt from self-isolation upon return from international travel according to Island Health

North Island community groups are adapting due to COVID-19

‘The coronavirus and its effects make this a challenging time for us all’

B.C. COVID-19 contact restrictions working, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

’Not out of the woods yet’ as next two weeks are critical

Funding has been denied for Port Hardy’s much anticipated Multiplex Pool Project

‘reviewing alternatives and opportunities in the coming months to address the aging infrastructure’

Evening world update: U.S. restrictions extended 30 days; NY deaths near 1,000

Comprehensive world update, with the latest developments in the COVID-19 crisis

‘It’s up to us: Recently-returned B.C. couple urges Canadians to take COVID-19 seriously

Garrett Kucher and Tory Apostoliuk make it home after almost a week of lockdown in Spain

‘Nothing concrete’: Tenants, landlords lack details after B.C. unveils COVID-19 rental aid

Single mom in Golden says she’s already going to the food bank after being laid off

Speed, alcohol not ruled out as factors in crash that left one person dead

Police watchdog, Campbell River Major Crimes Unit are investigating

Canada will make sure masks sent by China meet quality standards: Trudeau

Chinese Embassy tweeted that China was sending 30,000 medical masks along with gowns, gloves and goggles

B.C. issues guidelines about distancing, reusable bags to grocery stores amid COVID-19

Hand sanitizer and markers to keep lines two metres are apart are needed, province says

No plans to call in military right now to enforce COVID-19 quarantine: Trudeau

Trudeau unveils $7.5M for Kids Help Phone, $9M for vulnerable seniors amid COVID-19

QUIZ: How much do you know about the Olympics?

Put your knowledge to the test with these 12 questions

Most Read