(JTA) — Michael Cohen, a former lawyer to President Donald Trump who was sentenced to prison for campaign finance violations and other offenses, said Trump knew of Cohen’s illegal actions allegedly taken at the president’s behest.
Cohen, who is Jewish, said this in an ABC interview aired Friday, two days after his sentencing of three years for offenses that included tax evasion and lying to Congress.
ABC asked Cohen if Trump knew that it was wrong to have Cohen pay hush money during the presidential campaign to two women who said they had compromising information of a sexual nature about Trump.
“Of course,” Cohen answered, adding that the purpose was to “help [Trump] and his campaign.”
Cohen also said: “I am angry at myself” for his role in the deals with porn actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal. But Cohen said he did it out of “blind loyalty” to Trump.
“I gave loyalty to someone who, truthfully, does not deserve loyalty,” he said.
On Twitter, Trump said he “never directed Cohen to break the law,” but did not deny knowing about the payments, as he had done earlier.
Rudy Giuliani, on the same social media platform, has said that Cohen is lying, and that the payments would in any case not constitute a crime.