Wounded Trump: Ex-lawyer 'made up stories'

Trump's Former Lawyer Says US President Told Him to Pay off Two Women

"What I'm suggesting is that Mr. Cohen was an observer and was a witness to Mr. Trump's awareness of those emails before they were dropped, and it would pertain to the hacking of the email accounts", Davis told CNN after having hedged that point in earlier television interviews.

Trump told Earhardt that the payments did not come out of campaign funds and "my first question when I heard about it was did they come out of the campaign because that could be a little dicey". There were others that were involved in paying these phony invoices that were created to pay money back to Michael Cohen that he had put forward to [former Playboy model Karen McDougal and adult film actress Stephanie Clifford, aka Stormy Daniels].

Mr Trump's current lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, said in a statement: "There is no allegation of any wrongdoing against the President in the government's charges against Mr Cohen".

After initially denying knowledge of the hush money, Trump was heard on a 2016 recording made by Cohen that appears to show Trump was informed of at least one of the payments.

"Later on I knew", Trump reiterated in the interview.

And without knowing precisely what it was for, it's hard to tell whether Cohen violated the law by not reporting it as a campaign expense.

Although both men came under investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who was charged with looking for Trump campaign collusion with Russian Federation, none of the alleged crimes had anything to do with Russian Federation. Trump certainly would not have authorized the payments unless he thought it was politically imperative to do so.

After bashing Cohen Wednesday morning, Trump praised Manafort, saying, "Unlike Michael Cohen, [Manafort] refused to "break" - make up stories in order to get a 'deal.' Such respect for a courageous man!"

51-year-old Cohen had previously said he would "take a bullet" for President Trump, faced with a jail sentence from the NY courthouse between three and six years his resolution has melted.

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After Cohen pleaded guilty on Tuesday, Trump attacked him on Twitter, accusing his former fixer of making up stories to get a deal.

Avenatti tweeted that Cohen's plea agreement should open the door to questioning Trump under oath in Daniels' defamation lawsuit against him about "what he knew, when he knew it, and what he did about it".

"As the president has said, we've stated many times, he did nothing wrong".

One tweet specifically referenced the trial of Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign chairman, who was convicted of eight financial crimes on Wednesday in a case stemming from the Russian Federation probe.

Nothing made public so far from Cohen's criminal case indicates he has agreed to co-operate with prosecutors, but Davis said that was simply a "distinction without a difference".

Former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance speculated that Trump was warning Manafort to stay silent, as the president has yet to rule out the idea of pardoning him.

Still, there's no doubt that August 21, 2018, will go down in history as an extraordinary moment in the Trump presidency - and for the American presidency, an office steeped in dignity and tradition but hardly immune to the foibles of its occupants, as many past presidents have shown.

As he waited to go on air, Davis also said that Cohen has information about improprieties in the Trump charitable foundation that would be of interest to the New York Attorney General, who is investigating the foundation.

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