Politics

Trump rips Michael Cohen after former lawyer implicated the president in crimes

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Key Points
  • President Donald Trump ripped his former personal lawyer and fixer in a post on Twitter Wednesday, a day after Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to a number of crimes, some of which implicated the president.
  • "If anyone is looking for a good lawyer, I would strongly suggest that you don't retain the services of Michael Cohen!" the president wrote.
  • On Tuesday, the president said he felt "badly" for Cohen, according to a transcript provided by the White House, but did not mention Cohen during a rally he held in West Virginia hours after Cohen pleaded. 
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Trump targeted Cohen after he implicated the president in crimes

President Donald Trump ripped his former personal lawyer and fixer in a series of posts Wednesday on Twitter, a day after Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to a number of crimes and implicated the president in a scheme to unlawfully silence two women who claim they had sex with him.

The president joked that Cohen was a poor lawyer, and charged without evidence that, unlike Paul Manafort, the president's former campaign chairman who was convicted on a number of felony charges on Tuesday, Cohen made up stories in order to get a plea deal

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Cohen admitted on Tuesday to facilitating payments to two women who have alleged affairs with the president. Those payments, Cohen said, were made to influence the outcome of the 2016 election.

Cohen's plea came just as Trump's former campaign chairman Manafort was found guilty on eight charges related to financial fraud by federal jury in Virginia in the first trial brought by special counsel Robert Mueller.

The president praised Manafort on Wednesday, saying that "unlike Michael Cohen, he refused to 'break'"

"Such respect for a brave man," Trump said.

The tweets are the president's first substantial comment on Cohen's plea deal. On Tuesday, the president said he felt "badly" for Cohen and Manafort, according to a transcript provided by the White House, but did not mention either man during a rally he held in West Virginia hours after Cohen appeared in court to enter his guilty plea.

Earlier Wednesday, Cohen's attorney, Lanny Davis, said his client would not accept a pardon from the president if it were offered.

"He considers a pardon from somebody who has acted so corruptly as president to be something he would never expect," Davis said in an interview on NBC's "TODAY" show.

Cohen worked as a lawyer at the president's real estate company, The Trump Organization, for more than a decade, and was known as one of the president's most trusted confidants. Cohen continued to serve as Trump's personal attorney once Trump became president.

After an April raid on Cohen's New York hotel and office by federal investigators, Trump's outside counsel, Rudy Giuliani, said that Cohen had left the legal team.

Correction: Paul Manafort was found guilty by a federal jury in Virginia. An earlier version mischaracterized the jury.

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