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Cohen: Trump and I Knew Hush Payments Were Wrong

Former attorney reiterates that Trump directed him to make the payment to 'help' campaign
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 14, 2018 6:37 AM CST
Updated Dec 14, 2018 6:58 AM CST
Michael Cohen, accompanied by his children from left, Samantha and Jake, and his wife, Laura Shusterman, right, arrives at federal court Wednesday in New York.   (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

(Newser) – Michael Cohen says he knew making hush-money payments to women during the 2016 campaign was wrong, and he says his client—Donald Trump—also knew it. "Of course," Trump's former attorney tells George Stephanopoulos of ABC News, adding that the whole idea of the payments to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal was to "help (Trump) and his campaign." Cohen was sentenced this week to three years in prison for financial crimes, including the payments. "I knew what I was doing was wrong," he said. "I stood up before the world [Wednesday] and I accepted the responsibility for my actions."

Cohen added that he is "angry at himself" for the decision to make the payments, but said he made them under the direct order of Trump and out of "blind loyalty." He adds: “I gave loyalty to someone who, truthfully, does not deserve loyalty." Trump has acknowledged a "simple private transaction" but says any responsibility for violating campaign finance laws falls solely on the shoulders of Cohen, who he says should have known better as an attorney. NBC News, meanwhile, reports that Trump was indeed in the room with Cohen when the attorney worked out a deal with National Enquirer publisher David Pecker to buy and then kill the women's stories. That gibes with an account first reported by the Wall Street Journal. (Trump is known as "Individual 1" in the Cohen case.)

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