POLITICS
11/29/2018 12:10 pm ET Updated Nov 29, 2018

Trump Says He Hired Michael Cohen As His Lawyer Because Of A 'Favor'

The president's comment about his former attorney came after Cohen pleaded guilty in the Mueller probe.

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.

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