Official statement calls the accusations against Trump ‘laughable.’
The White House has shot back at claims made by Donald Trump’s former attorney and fixer Michael Cohen that the president directed hush money payments be made to cover up his alleged affairs.
According to WECT News 6, on Friday morning Cohen made an appearance on ABC’s Good Morning America show to discuss the controversy. During the lengthy interview, Cohen insisted that Trump was behind the hush money payments made to adult film star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal in the days before the 2016 presidential election.
White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley was quick to respond to the allegations and didn’t pull any punches when responding to Cohen’s statements.
“Look, quite frankly for the media to give credence to a convicted criminal who has lied on multiple occasions, and self-admitted doing just that, is laughable,” Gidley said to Fox News. “The president has maintained and has said many times he has never instructed Michael Cohen to do anything illegal and we stand by that.”
During the Good Morning America interview, Cohen said that he “gave loyalty to someone who, truthfully, does not deserve loyalty.”
The explosive interview comes at the end of a tumultuous week for both Cohen and the Trump administration. On Wednesday, Cohen was sentenced to three years in a federal prison after pleading guilty to lying to Congress and violating campaign finance laws.
Trump has maintained throughout the case that he is completely innocent of both the alleged affair and the hush money payments. Cohen has insisted repeatedly that Trump not only directed him to pay off the two women, but he also was well aware of the legal implications of his actions.
“He knows the truth. I know the truth. Others know the truth,” Cohen said. “The man doesn’t tell the truth. And it is sad that I should take responsibility for his dirty deeds.”
While Trump has always maintained his innocence, the specifics of his story have changed over time. While initially, he denied having any knowledge of the hush money payments, he later admitted that he was aware of the transaction. However, Trump doubled down at this point, insisting in a series of tweets back in May that the transactions were not illegal.
Things got even murkier in July when CNN released a tape that seemed to prove Trump was involved in organizing and enacting at least one payment alongside Cohen. Federal prosecutors continue to insist that Trump was instrumental in setting up the payments and ordering Michael Cohen to ensure both women remained silent in the weeks before the election.
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