Cohen: My family and country come first

president Trump’s longtime attorney Michael Cohen breaking his silent could you also be signaling the end of his days at the presidential oil fixer, and has been tight-lipped in the month since he’s been under criminal investigation by federal prosecutors in New York this morning however an interview Good Morning America key made it clear His Highest priority is his family not the president saying my wife my daughter and my son had my first loyalty and always will I put family and Country First International political reporter MJ leave he also said MJ that he feels like he’s been made to look like a villain in this story is pretty candid on the number of Point yeah that’s right I mean that he is no longer the guy who is just going to take a bullet for from his former boss was ask more than once as a course of this ABC interview about loyalty I will he go out of his way to protect Donald Trump will he put Donald Trump before his own family and coordinated very clear that he’s going to put his family and his what do you want a step further than that he said that he’s not going to be used by anyone and that he is not the bad guy here is a part of what he said he said I will not be a punching bag as a part of anyone’s defense strategy I am not a villain of the story and I will not allow others to try to pick me that way now it’s striking because as you said he has been laying low but ever since the authorities raided his home a couple of months ago and now we are seeing a clear tone of defensive Miss of course not surprised $130,000 payment right Stormy Daniels he didn’t have as much to say about that though you know what is more telling I think than what he did say is also what he didn’t say you were right that he was asked about $230,000 payments that he made two adult film start show me Daniels backing out 2016 very shortly before the election and keep in mind what he has been saying all along he has always said look I did this on my own this was action that I took on behalf of President Trump who was my boss and he have anything to do with it he didn’t even know about this will take a look at out what he actually said to ABC this time around he said I want to answer one day I will answer but for now I can’t comment further on advice of my Council clear this was when he was asked did President Trump ask you to make this payment that he promised that he would reimburse you and he’s now saying I actually can’t go there so very telling that he’s refusing to answer that question went up until now he has said yes I did this and I did this on my own that say so much as they always do it was also interesting that he does not seem to share the president’s view when it comes to the FBI that’s right. He appears to be distancing himself from Donald Trump and two areas where he did this at I think it’s pointing out that one is the FBI raid of his home is hotel room that were also a familiar with now remember that when this happened Trump said that this was disgraceful that this was it attacking our country and a true sense he was clearly angry about it Michael Cohen is now saying a quote I don’t agree with those who Demonite or vilify the FBI I respect the FBI as an institution as well as their agents that he said that the agents were actually very respectful and courteous when they raided his home hot the second area where he is now distancing himself from Trump is the Mueller investigation of course we know that President Trump has been calling this a which time being very skeptical about what intelligence officials have said about Russia meddling in the make a scene election Michael Cohen is now saying that he says I don’t like the term witch on as an American I repeated Russia’s or any other foreign governments attempts to interfere or metal in our Democratic process and I would call on all Americans to do the same he also added and this appears to be a statement directed at president Trump simply accepting Putin’s denial is unsustainable I choose to believe our intelligence agency so the substance of what he saying Erica is very interesting I think more importantly the tone is very very telling its early and we’re going to dig into a little bit of that now MJ appreciate it thank you joining me now asking and chief legal analyst Jeffrey toobin and seeing and Senior political analyst Ron Brownstein and what wasn’t said I find it surprising that this interview happened at all to you or I do and I suspect that was against his lawyer’s advice guy Petrillo is a very experienced lawyer particularly a negotiator with the government and that’s just something that the lawyers generally recommend against it’s better for the little lawyer negotiate with with with the prosecutors rather than do it through the news media but idea especially a famous ones like George Stephanopoulos for all sorts of reasons to satisfy their own ego to make themselves seem important fortunately they do because we like when people talk to us but was bizarre of him to do this and I don’t think it’s particularly helpful what about though in terms of timing Ron to think of something more that we could read into that especially in terms of service for the president there talk privately to the prosecutor’s I mean I think you know one reason to do this in public is so that the president knows that you’re doing it and exactly why he wants the present to know that he’s doing it I think it’s another question Alaskan it gave the impression that maybe more was shown and actually was in that he made a lot of comments that were suggested that he had things to say but he also wanted to say that he was not aware of any collusion he did not invite he was on deny the allegations in in the dossier that he went to Prague as you recall from the the the dossier way back when so exactly what we have been Blind Side and I think the only a cautious and imprudent kind of approach to it is to recognize it is a nice birth where most of it is below the surface and exactly where this is going and what it means I think we will not know for many weeks we’re talking about Michael Cohen being investigated by the southern district of New York impact the on the Mueller investigation if anything here if you were to decide to cooperate if you were to say plead guilty to some sort of offense in the southern district which was related let’s say exclusively to his business career and agreed to cooperate he would have to cooperate cooperate with the entire department of justice and that would mean the Mueller investigation to Eva show the guilty plea would be through a separate set of prosecutors once you agree to cooperate with the government you agree to cooperate with all of the government you can’t just say well I’ll talk to these prosecutors but not those prosecutors one of the parts of a deal when you make a deal is that you give up your right to pick and choose which government investigators your going to talk to if if the government will let them out of trouble either that he’s lying or making a story sorry I don’t see Michael doing that now I guess you could read that a couple of different ways he doesn’t see him lying isn’t see him making things up this and see him flipping but Ron is this also in some ways settings coming up so that if he does decide to flip in the eyes of the president will he was just a liar anyway he was just doing it to save himself I think the history of loyalty with the president for a moment that he would hesitate about turning on anyone short of immediate family if if maybe even immediate family if he thought they could hurt him continue to be more intrigued by what is the message that Michael phone is sending the president if he if he is trying to send one is it hear me message is the message fund me cuz we know he is ask him in the past have been different reports in the past that he’s that he’s shot Ally financial help or his the message fund me or fear me right I mean it’s it’s it’s hard to know exactly what do you but I think the choice to do this as a not do it on Fox where he would be signaling kind of Sympathy for the present to go on ABC with George Stephanopoulos it is a shot across the bow I think at the White House but what is Ultimate intent is I think it’s still too early to tell can I just say as a former Federal prosecutor just took to respond to what the president said in that tweet Federal prosecutors do not actually get people to lie that isn’t that is unethical it is illegal so the idea that just allow people to lie when when they cooperate he is just you know it’s it’s something that not only a president the United States shouldn’t say anyone who’s informed what about the way the American legal system works should know that that’s just not how Federal prosecutors work in this country thank you Jeff for answering the question before I had to ask is I think we didn’t hear from him when it came to stormy she said I did it out of Goodwill for my client I was just trying to help out here or anything in that answer that stood out to Stormy Daniels Michael Collins public public responses to the store McDaniel situation have have very to great deal overtime at first he said he paid the money out of his own pocket out of the goodness of his heart something that no warrior in the history of American law has ever done that investigated that that explanation has since been revised when Rudolph Giuliani said well there was a reimbursement form with the president where he repaid a certain amount per month I don’t think we know really what went on with the Stormy Daniels payment the bit all of that is I think very much in flux will see if the documents that the FBI seized shed shed some light on it but that is something that obviously would be a great deal of interest to Federal prosecutors
President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, tells ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos that “my wife, my daughter and my son have my first loyalty and always will.”

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