File photo of US President Donald Trump and his former lawyer Michael Cohen
File photo of US President Donald Trump and his former lawyer Michael Cohen

Made a mistake by hiring Cohen: Trump

ANI | Updated: Dec 14, 2018 02:23 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Dec 14 (ANI): United States President Donald Trump said he made a "mistake" by hiring Michael Cohen, who was sentenced to three years in prison by a New York federal judge over charges of tax evasion and campaign-finance violations.
The federal judge in New York found Cohen guilty of campaign-finance violations amongst other charges while referring to the payments made during the 2016 election campaign- following which Trump rose to power- to two women who claimed to have past affairs with Trump.
Speaking to Fox News on Thursday, Trump also mentioned, "I never directed him to do anything wrong. Whatever he did he did on his own," while referring to the charges for which Cohen has pleaded guilty.
The US President had earlier launched a pointed attack against Cohen on Twitter and said, "I never directed Michael Cohen to break the law. He 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. That is why they get paid."
"Despite that many campaign finance lawyers have strongly stated that I did nothing wrong with respect to campaign finance laws if they even apply because this was not campaign finance," he further said.
"Cohen was guilty on many charges unrelated to me, but he plead to two campaign charges which were not criminal and of which he probably was not guilty even on a civil basis. Those charges were just agreed to by him in order to embarrass the president and get a much-reduced prison sentence, which he did-including the fact that his family was temporarily let off the hook. As a lawyer, Michael has great liability to me!" read the third tweet.
"It's a terrible system we have," he told Fox News while referring to the supposed deal Cohen had struck with the prosecutors.
"What he did was all unrelated to me except for the two campaign finance charges that are not criminal and shouldn't have been on there. They put that on to embarrass me," he said while referring to the payments made to former Playboy model Karen McDougal and adult film actress Stormy Daniels. He has earlier tweeted that the payments made to the two women were a "simple private transaction".
Trump also talked of Chief of Staff John Kelly's exit from the White House and his ongoing search for Kelly's replacement during the interview with Fox News.
"I want somebody that's strong but I want somebody that thinks as I do. It is my vision. After all, at the same time, I'm open to ideas," the US President said. (ANI)