Trump Argues He 'Never Directed' Ex-Lawyer Michael Cohen to Break Law - NBC10 Boston
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Trump Argues He 'Never Directed' Ex-Lawyer Michael Cohen to Break Law

Donald Trump, in the Fox interview, insisted the campaign finance charges Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to are "not criminal"

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    Trump allies Michael Cohen and American Media Inc., the owners of the National Enquirer, both admitted to paying off women who claimed to have had affairs with President Donald Trump to help with his 2016 presidential campaigns - something Trump continued to distance himself of in a pair of early morning tweets. (Published Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018)

    What to Know

    • Cohen was sentenced to prison for crimes including arranging hush money payments to hide Trump's alleged affairs to help his 2016 campaign

    • Trump said what Cohen pleaded guilty to are "not criminal"

    • Trump added that he "never directed" Cohen to break the law

    President Donald Trump claimed Thursday that he "never directed" his longtime lawyer, Michael Cohen, to break the law. And he's insisting that he "did nothing wrong."

    Trump's comments — in an interview with Fox News Channel's Harris Faulkner and several morning tweets — came a day after Cohen was sentenced to prison for crimes including arranging hush money payments to conceal Trump's alleged affairs to help his 2016 White House bid, a campaign finance violation. Cohen and federal prosecutors say the payments were made at Trump's direction.

    Trump, in the Fox interview, insisted the campaign finance charges Cohen pleaded guilty to are "not criminal" and were included solely to "embarrass him."

    And he said he'd "made a mistake" hiring Cohen years ago.

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    (Published Thursday, April 18, 2019)

    Earlier, Trump tweeted that Cohen "was a lawyer and he is supposed to know the law. It is called 'advice of counsel,' and a lawyer has great liability if a mistake is made."

    Trump had originally denied any knowledge of the payments, but later changed his tune, arguing that the payments weren't campaign contributions and therefore weren't illegal.

    Prosecutors have implicated Trump in a crime, but haven't directly accused him of one.

    Trump also suggested, without providing evidence, that Cohen cooperated with prosecutors to kept his father-in-law or wife out of trouble and adds that, "In retrospect," he "made a mistake" by hiring Cohen.