Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former lawyer, leaves federal court after his sentencing in New York, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

Ex-Trump lawyer: Hush money paid over election concerns

Michael Cohen was sentenced Wednesday to three years in federal prison

President Donald Trump’s longtime personal lawyer said Friday that Trump directed him to buy the silence of two women during the 2016 election because the then-candidate was “very concerned” about how their stories of alleged affairs with him “would affect the election.”

Michael Cohen — who for more than a decade was a key power player in the Trump Organization and a fixture in Trump’s political life — said he “gave loyalty to someone who, truthfully, does not deserve loyalty.” Cohen spoke in an interview with ABC that aired Friday on “Good Morning America.”

RELATED: Judge gives Michael Cohen 3 years in prison

Cohen appeared shaken over the events that swiftly took him from Trump’s “fixer” to a man facing three years in prison.

“I am done with the lying,” Cohen said. “I am done being loyal to President Trump.”

He added: “I will not be the villain of this story.”

Cohen was sentenced Wednesday to three years in federal prison. He pleaded guilty to several charges, including campaign finance violations and lying to Congress. Prosecutors have said Trump directed Cohen to arrange the payments to buy the silence of porn actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal in the run-up to the 2016 campaign.

READ MORE: Michael Cohen pleads guilty to lying to congress

Asked whether the president also knew it was wrong to make the payments, Cohen said, “Of course.” But Cohen did not provide any specific evidence or detail in the interview.

Trump has denied that he directed Cohen to break the law and has asserted in a barrage of tweets over the last several weeks that Cohen is a “liar” who cut a deal in order to get a reduced prison sentence.

In a separate case, Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about his work on a possible Trump real estate project in Moscow and said he did so to be consistent with Trump’s “political messaging.”

The charges in that case were brought by special counsel Robert Mueller’s office and Mueller’s prosecutors have said Cohen has provided key information in their investigation. Cohen has said he is continuing to co-operate with investigators.

The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Penticton man wakes to wildfire, forced to evacuate

A wildfire sparked off the side of Highway 97 near Penticton on Thursday

Roots & Blues announces ticket giveaway ahead of online festival

The festival is streaming free online this year, but those who pre-register can win passes for 2021.

LETTER: Plants help enhance Summerland

Summerland Public Works has added to beautification

Ryga Arts Festival to include live events

Arts festival in Summerland will feature live and online performances

UPDATE: Wildfire between Summerland and Penticton now ‘under control’

Emergency vehicles are at the scene near Sage Mesa, evacuation centre set up in Penticton

371 British Columbians battling COVID-19, health officials confirm

Thursday (Aug. 6) saw a second straight day of nearly 50 new confirmed cases

Anti-gang cops probe Kelowna’s street-level drug trade over B.C. Day long weekend

CFSEU’s Gang Enforcement Team was deployed to Kelowna last weekend

Man allegedly wielding knife at Kelowna Superstore arrested

The 29-year-old Kelowna man has been released on strict conditions for a future court date

Visitors and non-residents entering closed remote B.C. First Nation’s territories

With limited resources, they say they don’t have any authority or power to enforce the closures

UBC loses appeal on Fisheries Act convictions

BC Supreme Court upholds order to pay $1.55-million fine

Masks to be mandatory on BC Transit, TransLink starting Aug. 24

Both BC Transit and TransLink made the announcement in separate press releases on Thursday

Acclaimed B.C. actor Brent Carver passes away

Carver, one of Canada’s greatest actors with a career spanning 40 years, passed away at home in Cranbrook

B.C. would not send students back to school if there was ‘overwhelming risk’: Horgan

Plan has left many parents across the province worried about their children’s safety

Most Read