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President Donald Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen said in congressional testimony Wednesday that he had declined the chance to work in the White House, even though Trump wanted him to.
Cohen made the claim in a sharp exchange with the House Oversight Committee's ranking member, Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, who accused him of "trashing" his former boss because "he didn't get brought to the dance" after the 2016 presidential election.
"I see a guy who worked for 10 years and trashing the guy he worked for for 10 years, didn't get a job in the White House," Jordan said. "And now you're behaving just like everyone else who got fired or didn't get the job they wanted."
Cohen has pleaded guilty to multiple charges lodged by federal prosecutors in New York and special counsel Robert Mueller's probe of Russian election meddling and possible Trump-campaign collusion. He is scheduled to head to prison in May to serve a three-year term.
Jordan's accusation came after Cohen, once a proud loyalist of Trump's during the campaign, excoriated him as a "racist," a "cheat" and a "con man" in his opening remarks.
Cohen pushed back on Jordan's characterization.
"I was extremely proud to be personal attorney to the president of the United States of America. I did not want to go the White House" at the time, Cohen said. "I was offered jobs. I can tell you a story of Mr. Trump reaming out" Trump's former chief of staff Reince Priebus, "because I had not taken a job where Mr. Trump wanted me to, which is working with Don McGahn at the White House general counsel's office," Cohen said.
"I brought a lawyer in who produced a memo as to why I should not go in because there would be no attorney-client privilege and in order to handle some of the matters I talked about in my opening."
That memo said "it would be best-suited for me not to go in and that every president had a personal attorney," Cohen told the committee.
The president's sons Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump disputed Cohen's testimony.