Trump knew hush-money payments were wrong: Ex-lawyer Cohen

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Dec 14, 2018, 04.54 PM(IST)

Michael Cohen. Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

In a guilty plea in August, Cohen had said that he was directed by Trump to arrange a payment to Playboy model Karen McDougal, and personally pay adult-film star Stormy Daniels, both of whom have claimed they had affairs with Trump before he was president.

US President Donald Trump's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen claimed on Friday that Trump was aware that the hush money payments were wrong.

News agency AFP quoted Cohen as saying, "Trump knew hush-money payments were wrong".

Michael Cohen has been sentenced to three years in jail for his role in the payment of hush money to women who said they had affairs with Trump and for lying to Congress about a proposed Trump Tower project in Russia discussed during the 2016 election campaign.

In an interview to a media, Cohen said: "Trump acted because he was very concerned about how this would affect the election".

Cohen's claims have come after news reports on Thursday stated that Trump was at a meeting in August 2015 when his personal lawyer Cohen and David Pecker, chairman of the publisher of the National Enquirer, discussed a scheme to pay off women to suppress their stories about having had affairs with Trump.

Trump who had earlier called Cohen "liar" distanced himself from Cohen and said he had never directed Cohen to break the law.

He also said that the payments made were unrelated to his campaign.

In a guilty plea in August, Cohen had said that he was directed by Trump to arrange a payment to Playboy model Karen McDougal, and personally pay adult-film star Stormy Daniels, both of whom have claimed they had affairs with Trump before he was president.

Cohen, who once said he’d take a bullet for the president, said in federal court on Wednesday that his job was to cover up his boss's "dirty deeds".

(With inputs from agencies)