Cohen: I paid off two women because Trump was concerned about election

US President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen exits a hotel in New York City US

US President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen exits a hotel in New York City US

The former lawyer has alleged that Trump, then the Republican candidate for president, directed him to make payments to porn star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal, in order to help the campaign. Trump has denied the affairs, and initially denied knowing anything about the payments, but has since shifted his story. "He directed me to become involved in these matters".

US President Donald Trump knew it was wrong to arrange payments to two women during the presidential campaign, former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen claimed. This week, Trump said on Twitter that the payments were a "private transaction" and not at all related to the campaign.

Michael Cohen, speaking in an interview with ABC, said Mr Trump knew the payments were wrong. "And here is the truth: people of the United States of America, people of the world, don't believe what he is saying".

Cohen pleaded guilty to two counts of campaign finance violations which Trump can argue did not involve campaign finance.

The reason for the exemption is that Cohen has assisted federal prosecutors as well as special counsel Robert Mueller, who is leading the ongoing investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

He said that his blind loyalty to Trump led him to choose what he described as a path of darkness.

Prosecutors will likely make a pitch to the judge Wednesday about the sentence they believe is appropriate, and it is possible - albeit unlikely - they might reveal new details about how Cohen's cooperation has helped advance their ongoing probes.

"The man doesn't tell the truth".

That document said Cohen, Pecker, and "one or more members of the campaign" met in August 2015.

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"I don't think there's anybody that believes that", Cohen said.

Donald Trump's ex-lawyer, Michael Cohen, has been jailed for three years over hush money payments to two women.

White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said Friday that by reporting Cohen's claims, the media "is giving credence to a convicted criminal". "I am done being loyal to President Trump". Asked if Trump likewise knew it was "wrong", Cohen said, "Of course". In fact, I now know that there is little to be admired. He must report to federal prison to begin serving his time in March.

AMI has admitted to "keeping Cohen apprised" of negative stories about Trump.

During an interview with Fox News that aired later Thursday, Trump dismissed Cohen's more than decade-long work with his company, saying Cohen did "very low-level work" and more public relations than law. "It is called "advice of counsel", and a lawyer has great liability if a mistake is made".

A spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of NY, which investigated Cohen's hush-money payments to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, declined to comment. "That's why you pay them a lot of money", the President added.

Mr Pauley said that Cohen "appears to have lost his moral compass" and that the lawyer "should have known better" than to dodge taxes, lie to Congress and violate campaign finance laws.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Attorneys Office for the Southern District of NY also announced they had reached a non-prosecution agreement with American Media, Inc., the parent company of the National Enquirer.

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