Donald Trump says Michael Cohen ‘made the decision’ to pay $130,000 hush money to Stormy Daniels – a day after his ex-attorney’s devastating congressional statement to the contrary.
In an interview with Sean Hannity of Fox News the president repeated his claims that it was Cohen who arranged the payment, adding: ‘You’re supposed to rely on an attorney to make a decision.’
Cohen appeared before Congress on Wednesday morning to read aloud a statement in which he labeled the president a ‘conman’, ‘a racist’ and a ‘cheat’.
Central to his claims was that Trump was aware of hush money he paid Stormy Daniels to keep her quiet about their alleged affair ahead of the election and that he signed a $35,000 check that was reimbursement for what Cohen paid her.
But speaking in Hanoi after the collapse of his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un Trump insisted it was Cohen who made the decision to pay the porn star.
Donald Trump says Michael Cohen ‘made the decision’ to pay $130,000 hush money to Stormy Daniels. Cohen appeared before Congress on Wednesday morning and said Trump was aware of hush money he paid Daniels to keep her quiet about their alleged affair
Daniels claims she and Trump met in July 2006 at a celebrity golf tournament and had sex
In an interview the president agreed with Hannity after he alleged Cohen ‘said to me at least a dozen times, that he made the decision on the payments and he didn’t tell you’. Trump replied: ‘Yes.’
He added: ‘And he made a decision. And remember this, he’s an attorney. Whatever decision he makes, you’re supposed to rely on an attorney to make a decision.
‘Somebody said – one of the very good Republican members today said that – you know, he’s supposed to be an attorney.
‘He’s out there doing all sorts of things. When you’re — when you have an attorney, you’re supposed to be able to rely on your attorney.’
On Cohen, Trump added: ‘As far as Cohen is concerned, he’s convicted. He’s a liar. He’s defrauded at a high level. He’s got a lot of problems. And, you know, it was very interesting because he lied so much. I watched some of it. I actually was able to watch some of it.
‘He just was not much of an attorney, that I will tell you. But he went up today and a lot of people thought he was very bad. I watched some of it, I thought it was — I thought it was a terrible display of dishonesty, actually.’
The Donald Trump Jr.-signed check was dated in March 2017, and was drawn on a family Trust
Cohen has provided members of Congress with two checks, one signed by the president and the other by his son Donald Jr, which he says was reimbursement for payments meant to keep Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal quiet; President Trump’s check was written after he had been president for more than a half-year
Among the bombshell revelations Cohen also apologized to the First Lady, saying: ‘Mr. Trump is a conman. He asked me to pay off an adult film star with whom he had an affair and to lie to his wife about it, which I did.
‘Lying to the First Lady is one of my biggest regrets. She is a kind, good person. I respect her greatly and she did not deserve that.’
Trump denies ever sleeping with Daniels or Karen McDougal, a Playboy model who Cohen paid to keep quiet about her relations with the president around the same time he paid off Daniels.
The pair were both given $130,000 by Cohen to stay quiet about their experiences in the campaign year.
Cohen has provided members of Congress with two checks, one signed by the president and the other by his son Donald Jr, which he says was reimbursement for payments meant to keep Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal quiet.
Cohen added: ‘Mr. Trump directed me to use my own personal funds from a Home Equity Line of Credit to avoid any money being traced back to him that could negatively impact his campaign.
‘I did that, too – without bothering to consider whether that was improper, much less whether it was the right thing to do or how it would impact me, my family or the public.
‘I am going to jail in part because of my decision to help Mr. Trump hide that payment from the American people before they voted a few days later.’
Speaking with Sean Hannity Trump claimed that it was Cohen who arranged the payment
US President Donald Trump disembarks from Air Force One upon arrival at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, February 28, 2019, following a trip to Hanoi, Vietnam, for his second summit with North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un
Trump landed back in Washington Thursday evening after failing to reach a deal with the North Korean dictator.
He had earlier said he and Kim did not see eye to eye on what North Korea would have to give up for sanctions relief. ‘Well, they wanted to denuke certain areas and I wanted everything,’ Trump told Hannity.
‘And the sanctions are there and I didn’t want to give up the sanctions unless we had a real program. And they’re not ready for that and I understand that fully, I really do. I mean, they spent a lot of time building it and that doesn’t mean the world has to be happy,’ Trump said.
He also had a new batch of adjectives to praise Kim Jong Un, whom he gushed about repeatedly in Hanoi.
‘And he’s a real personality and he’s very smart,’ Trump said of Kim. ‘He’s sharp as you can be, and he’s a real leader, and he’s pretty mercurial. I don’t say that necessarily in a bad way, but he’s a pretty mercurial guy.’