Cohen Tells ABC `Family and Country First' in Russia Probe

Michael Cohen:

Cohen sat for an interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos. He said his loyalty is not to President Trump. She also reports that Cohen has been planning a big media push for some time - this is just the beginning. Cohen has zero incentive to stick by Trump at the expense of his own freedom and his family's well-being.

Trump has openly doubted the conclusions of current and past US intelligence officials, who say Russian Federation actively meddled in the 2016 election campaign.

JOHNSON: Yeah. This was a little jarring because of course Michael Cohen had been on the record as promising once to take a bullet for Donald Trump. "One day I will answer", he was quoted as saying.

But unlike Flynn, Cohen went on cable news to publicly telegraph his break with Trump, raising the question of what statement he is trying to make. Once that payment was revealed, Cohen said he had acted entirely on his own, with no guidance from Trump or anyone in the campaign. Officials are also looking into a $130,000 payment he made to Stormy Daniels in exchange for her silence on what may or may not have happened between her, Trump, and a rolled up Forbes magazine.

Cohen told Stephanopoulos: "I don't like the term witch-hunt".

If that happens, Cohen insisted that he will not allow himself to become a "villain" through Trump or his representatives.

He is now being investigated for a possible campaign law violation, for his paying hush money to porn star Stormy Daniels before elections, for what she claims was her affair with Trump.

In a filing, the special master told Judge Kimba Wood that the Trump Organization, facing a Thursday deadline, was still reviewing about 22,000 items to see if they might object to those being turned over to the government. "POTUS's pardon would cover past crimes, but it would not protect Michael Cohen against civil contempt for failure to testify before the grand jury".




Cohen also told ABC he did not agree with President Trump's recent tweet repeating Vladimir Putin's claim that Russian Federation did not interfere in the election.

Cohen added that if he is charged with anything in the probe, he would defer to his new lawyer in the case, Guy Petrillo, for advice.

According to another Cohen friend, whether he decides to cooperate with federal investigators would depend on what is ultimately in any indictment.

Another source confirmed that Cohen and Petrillo had met to discuss taking Cohen on as a client.

The White House did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment on Cohen's remarks. "When people that are targets of investigations are talking about doing what's best for their family, it's inevitably a code for cooperating and getting the best deal they can from prosecutors".

Mr Cohen was Mr Trump's self-described fixer and a key player in the Trump organisation for more than a decade, regularly berating reporters and threatening lawsuits against anyone who posed a challenge to his boss.

"I want to answer". But Cohen told ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos that he respects the prosecutors and the process.

"In that case, Michael Cohen would no longer have a Fifth Amendment right to avoid testimony", Epner said. "I respect our nation's intelligence agencies'. unanimous conclusions", Cohen said, without explicitly stating that Trump has made such denials.

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