The Latest: Cohen says Trump knew payments were wrong

In this Dec. 12, 2018, photo, Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's former lawyer, leaves federal court after his sentencing in New York. Trump has gone from denying knowledge of any payments to women who claim to have been mistresses to apparent acknowledgement of those hush money settlements – though he claims they wouldn't be illegal. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle) –The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Michael Cohen and President Donald Trump (all times local):

4 p.m.

President Donald Trump’s longtime personal lawyer says Trump directed him to buy the silence of two women during the 2016 campaign because he was concerned their stories of alleged affairs with him “would affect the election.” He says Trump knew the payments were wrong.

Michael Cohen says 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.”

Cohen says that “of course” Trump knew it was wrong to make the hush-money payments, but he did not provide any specific evidence or detail in the interview.

Advertisement

The White House is dismissing Cohen’s accusations. Deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley blasted the media for taking Cohen seriously and “giving credence to a convicted criminal.”

__

11:30 a.m.

The White House is dismissing the accusations from President Donald Trump’s former fixer that Trump directed hush money payments to two women during the presidential campaign to buy their silence about alleged affairs.

Deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley on Friday blasted the media for taking Michael Cohen seriously and “giving credence to a convicted criminal.”

Cohen said in an interview aired Friday on ABC’s “Good Morning America” that Trump directed the payments in 2016 so the women’s stories would not damage his election chances.

The former attorney this week was sentenced to three years in prison. Prosecutors have indicated that Cohen made the payments at Trump’s behalf.

Gidley called Cohen a “self-admitted liar” and said “there are documents to prove it” but did not elaborate.

__

7:11 a.m.

President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer says he bought the silence of two women because Trump was “very concerned” about how their stories of alleged affairs with him “would affect the election.”

In an interview with ABC News that aired Friday, Michael Cohen said he “gave loyalty to someone who, truthfully, does not deserve loyalty.”

Advertisement

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.

Cohen says he’s angry with himself for the deals.

Trump has denied he directed Cohen to break the law.

Close

Get the latest breaking news sent directly to your phone. Download our free app.