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Sam Nunberg: Michael Cohen went ‘too far’ by secretly recording Trump

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Sam Nunberg
Former Trump campaign aide
Sam Nunberg leaves the U.S. District Courthouse on March 9, 2018
in Washington, DC. Nunberg appeared before a grand jury as part
of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe.


Zach Gibson/Getty
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  • Sam Nunberg, a former aide on President Donald Trump’s
    campaign, said Sunday that he does “sympathize” with Trump’s
    former personal attorney Michael Cohen, but he also hit back at
    Cohen’s recent moves against Trump. 
  • Nunberg defended the president and said recent
    revelations of a taped conversation between Trump and Cohen was
    going “too far.”

President Donald Trump’s former campaign aide Sam Nunberg said he
does “sympathize” with Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen, but
said his decision to release a secretly recorded tape of a
conversation with Trump as going “too far.”

In an Sunday morning appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Nunberg
said Cohen’s latest moves were understandable, but a turn away
from his longtime loyalty to Trump. 

“You said Michael Cohen was very loyal and devoted to Trump,”
host Chuck Todd said to Nunberg. “Did you ever see Mr. Trump be
loyal to him?”

“Ultimately, I felt that he wasn’t,” Nunberg said. “I sympathize
with Michael. I understand the way Michael feels.”

Nunberg continued, “With that said, Chuck, for someone like me
who has defended Michael publicly, when he takes Lanny Davis out
of the Clinton crypt and starts talking about Watergate,
releasing these tapes, it’s a bridge too far.”

Davis, who is Cohen’s attorney, released audio last week
featuring a conversation between Trump and Cohen about payments
to a former Playboy model, Karen McDougal, who claimed she had a
sexual relationship with Trump years prior.

The conversation was reportedly recorded in September 2016, two
months before the 2016 presidential election.

Earlier this month, Nunberg was reportedly pitching himself
for television appearances with the description of “Michael
Cohen’s Friend.” Nunberg defended their personal relationship to
Todd, saying “he is a friend of mine,” but doubled down on his
disapproval of the recently revealed recordings.

“I like him personally,” Nunberg said. “Once again, I feel bad
for what his family is going through. But vis-a-vis his
professional relationship with the president, this is, I mean
it’s highly unethical, if not, if not, you know, being — getting
disbarred for what he did.”

Legal experts told Business Insider last
week that they found it bizarre that Cohen felt the need to
record a conversation with Trump, and some said they had never
heard of an attorney secretly recording a client.

The New York State Bar Association calls such secret recording
unethical. New York, where the taping reportedly took place,
legally requires only one person’s consent for such a recording.
So Cohen’s actions were not illegal.

Nunberg said during his time with Trump’s campaign, he had known
Cohen as Trump’s loyal “fixer” and was surprised the president’s
longtime ally would release such information.

“The idea Michael Cohen was taping him, when I heard that, I felt
like we were back in the 26th floor of Trump Tower,” Nunberg
said, referring to the Manhattan headquarters of Trump’s
campaign. “Remember, they never consummated this transaction, so
there’s no idea there’s FEC violation, but with that said, these
sound like the conversations you’d hear in private.”

Cohen and Trump’s relationship has broken down in recent months,
after the FBI raided Cohen’s property in April and seized
thousands of documents and records. The raid was part of a
federal criminal investigation into whether Cohen committed bank
fraud, wire fraud, and campaign finance violations as part of his
work for Trump during the 2016 election.

Watch the full interview below:

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