President Donald Trump on Thursday continued to distance himself from his former personal lawyer of 12 years by saying he only ever gave Michael Cohen the job as a reward for a “favor” Cohen did for Trump.
The comment came the same day Cohen pleaded guilty in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. Cohen pleaded to lying to Congress about talks for a Trump Tower in Moscow that took place during Trump’s 2016 campaign.
Trump quickly went on the defensive, calling Cohen a “weak person” who is “lying” to Mueller to get a reduced prison sentence.
“If Cohen is such a bum, why did you hire him and have him on your payroll for 12 years and have him do so much of your dirty work?” a reporter asked.
“Because a long time ago he did me a favor,” Trump responded. “A long time ago he did me a favor.”
It’s unclear what that favor was.
Cohen reportedly told a Manhattan U.S. district court that discussions about a Trump Tower real estate project in Moscow continued into June 2016 and that Trump had been briefed about it multiple times.
“There would have been nothing wrong if I did do it,” Trump said Thursday of the Trump Tower Moscow project.