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Trump makes first public comments on Cohen plea deal

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  • President Donald Trump said in an interview with Fox
    News that the hush-money payments made by Michael Cohen to
    adult-film actress Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen
    McDougal came directly from him.
  • “They didn’t come out of the campaign, they came from
    me,” Trump said in a “Fox and Friends” interview set to air on
    Thursday morning.
  • Cohen, Trump’s former personal attorney, pleaded guilty
    to eight federal crimes on Tuesday.
  • During his plea entry, Cohen
    said that he made illegal campaign contributions to
    Daniels and McDougal at the direction of Trump to influence the
    election.

President Donald Trump said in an interview with Fox News set to
air Thursday that he, not his campaign, funded hush-money
payments made by his former attorney to two women who claim to
have had affairs with him.

When asked by Fox News’ Ainsley Earhardt if he knew about the
payments his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, made to the women,
adult-film actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen
McDougal, Trump said he
knew “later on.”

“They didn’t come out of the campaign, they came from me,” Trump
said in a “Fox & Friends” interview. Trump then claimed that
it did not warrant a campaign violation. 

On Wednesday morning, Trump tweeted
that the two counts of campaign finance violations to which Cohen

pleaded guilty
 on Tuesday “are not a crime.” 

Cohen struck a plea deal with prosecutors to plead guilty to
eight federal crimes, which included five counts of tax evasion,
one count of making an unlawful corporate contribution, and one
count of making an illegal campaign finance contribution.

During his plea entry, Cohen
said
 he had made the illegal campaign and
corporate contributions “at the direction of the candidate” and
with the “purpose of influencing the election.”

He did not identify said candidate by name, but
the criminal complaint, which
refers to said candidate as “individual 1,” said that person
became president of the United States in January 2017 — meaning
it can be only be Trump.

In April, Trump
broke his silence
on the payment by Cohen to Daniels by
denying both that he knew about the payment and where the money
came from, statements that were later proven false.

 

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