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Donald Trump knew hush money was wrong, says Cohen
15 December 2018, 01:15 | Ivan Casey
Michael Cohen walks out of a court building in New York the United States Dec. 12 2018
The president has denied ever asking Cohen to make illegal payments.
He added that the hush-money payments as well as the alleged Trump Organization real-estate project in Moscow, about which Cohen was accused of and had admitted to lying to Congress, were not criminal charges, and that Cohen "probably was not guilty even on a civil basis" concerning the two charges.
Admitting he told lies for Trump for "more than 10 years" out of "loyalty" to someone he admired, Cohen said he felt he needed to tell the truth in order to gain his freedom, despite his recent prison sentence. When asked for his take, Cohen said it sure "seems like" Trump is afraid, because "that's what he does" in these situations.
In the interview, Cohen maintained that Trump had directed him to make hush payments to to women who were alleging they'd had affairs with him, out of concern about how it would affect his chances in the 2016 presidential election.
After the case, an adviser to Cohen said the former political fixer will "state publicly all he knows" about Mr Trump after special counsel Robert Mueller completes his investigation.
"I gave loyalty to someone who truthfully did not deserve it", Cohen told ABC's George Stephanopoulos Friday morning. The sentence represents the longest prison sentenced imposed to date in connection with special prosecutor Robert Mueller's investigation into ties between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation.
Federal law requires that the contribution of "anything of value" to a campaign must be disclosed, and an individual donation can not exceed US$2,700. He says Trump knew the payments were wrong.
Cohen, in his first televised interview since he was sentenced, said Trump "was very concerned" about the potential impact on the election if voters knew about the alleged affairs.
Cohen has assisted Special Counsel Robert Mueller in his investigation into whether members of the Trump campaign colluded with Russian Federation during the 2016 campaign.
Prosecutors confirmed last week in a filing that they believed the president ordered the payments to protect his campaign. I know the truth. "It's not like the Trump organization where he would bark out orders and people would blindly follow what he wanted done", before continuing, "I will not be the villain of his story".
Cohen said he feels most badly for his family and for disappointing his parents.
'Because what that means is, this is not simply Michael Cohen's word against Donald Trump's, it is now Donald Trump's word against everyone else, ' he added.
The president has gone from denying knowledge of the payments to saying they would have been private transactions that were not illegal.
Stephanopoulos brought up the constant attacks that Trump has been leveling towards Cohen on social media.
"Here's the truth: The people of the United States of America - the people of the world - don't believe what he's saying", Cohen said.
"Today is the day that I am getting my freedom back", he said. It is possible to thank Cohen for shedding light on Trump's activities while also condemning him for the life he has chosen and making clear that he has not earned the redemption he claims.
The criminal probe by the Manhattan U.S. attorney's office, which is in its early stages, also is examining whether some of the committee's top donors gave money in exchange for access to the incoming Trump administration, policy concessions or to influence official administration positions, some of the people said.
"Instead of him taking responsibility for his actions, what does he do?"
But the New York-based prosecutors who handled the case had urged the judge to sentence Cohen to a substantial prison term and said he failed to fully cooperate with investigators.
According to an agreement between the prosecutors and the company, American Media Inc.
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