On Fox News Channel on Thursday, host Harris Faulkner interviewed President Donald Trump on her show Outnumbered: Overtime, and right off the bat she gave him a grilling over his disgraced former personal attorney and fixer Michael Cohen.
After first discussing whether payments were made and whether they would constitute a campaign law violation, Faulkner asked specifically about Cohen and why Trump hired him.
“Mr. President, let’s get into — if we can — Michael Cohen. He was your attorney. Three years, he was sentenced yesterday,” she said. “It may seem like he got a break because it could have been twice as much but it’s still three years in federal prison. $500,000 in restitution. This is someone who surreptitiously recorded you — ”
“Terrible,” interjected Trump.
“…is now known as a criminal liar,” Faulkner continued. “Yet this is somebody who was in your inner circle.”
“Well it happens, I mean look, it happens,” said Trump. “I hire usually good people. But it just happens.”
Faulkner went for the details. “Why did you hire Michael Cohen? He was known as a ‘fixer’! That was his title. A ‘fixer’,” Faulkner said. As Trump objected that Cohen did low-level work, Harris asked again, “why did you need him?”
“He did more public relations than he did law, but he did — so you’d see him on television, he was okay on television,’ said Trump. “But years ago, many years — like 12 or 13 years ago — he did me a favor. He was on a committee and he was so responsive and so good, and I said ‘He’s a nice guy.'”
“Wait a minute, wait a minute,” said Faulkner. “That was the favor? Because people have been, well what is the favor he did the president’, he was on a committee with you?”
Trump replied that Cohen was a big supporter of his on the condominium committee, and that Trump liked him at the time and gave him a job.
“I thought he was really a nice guy, he was very supportive, and I liked him. And He was a lawyer. And because of that, I did it. And you know what? In retrospect, I made a mistake,” said Trump.
“Because what he did was all unrelated to me, except for the two campaign finance charges that are not criminal and shouldn’t have been on there,” said Trump. “They put that on to embarrass me. They put those two charges on to embarrass me. They’re not criminal charges. And they weren’t for President Obama either.”
“I’ve interviewed people who have told me this,” agreed Faulkner.
She asked about whether he directed Cohen to lie.
“Michael Cohen said he lied in order to protect you,” she said. “What’s your response to that?”
“I never directed him to do anything wrong. Whatever he did come he did on his own, said. Trump. “I never directed him to do anything incorrect or wrong. And he understands that.”
Cohen on Wednesday said that his “blind loyalty” to Trump was what drove him to act, and that he felt it was his “duty” to cover up Trump’s “dirty deeds.”
“Look, he did some bad things unrelated to me. Maybe related to other clients, I wasn’t his only client,” said Trump, and referenced some of the other things Cohen has been accused or charged with. “What he did his he made a deal to embarrass me. In order to embarrass me, they cut his term down. Pretty terrible stuff.”
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