Ex-Trump lawyer: Hush money paid over election concerns

Michael Cohen President Donald Trump's former lawyer leaves federal court after his sentencing in New York. Trump has gone from denying knowledge of any payments to women who claim to have been mistresses to apparent

"I think the pressure of the job is much more than what he thought it was going to be", Cohen said. "First of all, nothing at the Trump Organization was ever done unless it was run through Mr Trump".

The Cohen case has intensified the legal pressures on former reality television star Trump, whose almost two-year presidency has been clouded by multiple investigations and lawsuits, including a USA special counsel probe into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election, possible collusion between Moscow and Trump's campaign and possible obstruction of justice.

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".

In a follow-up interview with ABC News, Cohen said Mr Trump had instructed him to make hush money payments, adding that the then Republican candidate for the U.S. presidency knew it was wrong and that it was done to help his campaign.

"I knew what I was doing was wrong", Cohen said.

Appearing on ABC's "Good Morning America" for his first interview since being sentenced to three years in prison, Cohen, Trump's former lawyer, said that when payments were being arranged for Karen McDougal and Stormy Daniels, "I knew what I was doing was wrong".

The President's lawyer Rudy Giuliani slammed Cohen, telling CNN the public can't believe a thing Cohen says and that Cohen lied under oath, referencing Cohen's guilty plea in November to lying to Congress.

Cohen said he lied for Mr. Trump for a decade, something he did out of "loyalty". "Others know the truth", said Cohen, who was sentenced Wednesday in NY and is due to surrender to custody by March 6.

Michael Cohen President Donald Trump's former lawyer leaves federal court after his sentencing in New York Wednesday Dec. 12 2018. Cohen was sentenced Wednesday to three years in prison for an array of crimes that included arranging the payment
Ex-Trump lawyer: Hush money paid over election concerns

Federal prosecutors in the Southern District of NY recently implicated Trump in the deals, without charging the president.

The president also was implicated (by his own Justice Department) in directing a scheme to hide hush-money payments to two former mistresses.

When reminded that Trump had also repeated those claims in an interview on Fox News, Cohen called the remarks "inaccurate".

Rudy Giuliani, Trump's attorney, previously indicated that the payment to Stormy Daniels was made "to resolve a personal and false allegation in order to protect the president's family" and "it would have been done in any event, whether he was a candidate or not". He added that in pleading guilty, "I accepted the responsibility for my actions".

There was no immediate response from Trump to the Cohen interview, but a White House spokesman dismissed Cohen's comments as those of a "self-admitted liar". This week, Trump said on Twitter that the payments were a "private transaction" and not at all related to the campaign. Trump "was very concerned about how this would affect the election", he said. The publication bought McDougal's story of her alleged 2006-2007 affair with Trump with the express goal of killing it so it would not surface before Election Day in November 2016, to boost Trump's chances of winning the White House. "I will not be the villain of his story". "He's a very different individual".

Maurice Cohen, 83, reportedly wrote a letter to the court asking for leniency, in which he detailed the family's history; the elder Cohen survived the Holocaust and emigrated from Poland to Canada, he wrote, attending medical school in Toronto before finding work in the U.S.

On Wednesday, federal prosecutors announced a cooperation deal with the company, American Media Inc.

In the interview, Cohen declined to answer specific questions about the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller III into possible coordination between Russian Federation and Trump's 2016 campaign.

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