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.

Just Posted

Esquimalt speed skating week helps province determine find fastest skater

Speed Week takes place on Dec. 17 at Archie Browning arena

Goldstream church offers free festive feast

Gordon United Church says all are welcome to attend Monday’s meal

Longtime Saanich drama group brings pirates onstage for traditional Christmas pantomime

St. Luke’s Players present Treasure Island Dec. 18 to Jan. 4

Sex workers march in downtown Victoria for Red Umbrella Day

Red umbrellas became a symbol of sex workers after an art installation in Italy

MLA Adam Olsen calls for ‘substantial’ changes in provincial economy

Green Party MLA also criticizes gap between government rhetoric and actions

VIDEO: Success of wildlife corridors in Banff National Park has advocates wanting more

Demand for more highway protection escalated after seven elk were killed by a semi-trailer near Canmore

B.C. VIEWS: Hunger does not end with the season

Despite innovations in food distribution, the need is still there in B.C. communities

Sharks beat Canucks 4-2 to snap 6-game skid

Vancouver visits Vegas on Sunday

Fans sing Canadian anthem after sound system breaks at BMW IBSF World Cup

The Canadians in attendance made sure their team and flag were honoured on the podium

VIDEO: Fire destroys Big White Ski Resort chalet

Social media eulogies peg the property, nicknamed “The Pharamacy,” as both loved and hated

Prince George RCMP use bait packages to catch porch pirates over the holidays

First-in-Canada program with Amazon looks to combat parcel theft

Nanaimo mechanical engineer creates thief tracking program

Nanaimo Thief Tracking lets users plot and share information about thefts online

Mayor wants B.C. to institutionalize severely mental ill people who are homeless

Those suffering from mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia, need specialized care, mayor says

Five things of note from Trudeau’s mandate letters to his ministers

Some marching orders come from the Liberal Party’s campaign, while others are new additions

Most Read