Michael Cohen claims Donald Trump directed him to make hush money payments

Michael Searles
Former Trump Lawyer Michael Cohen Enters Plea Deal Over Tax And Bank Fraud And Campaign Finance Violations
Cohen also dismissed Trump's claims that he was trying to embarrass the president (Source: Getty)

Donald Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen claims the US president ordered him to make hush money payments.

Cohen, who has been sentenced to three years in prison, claims he followed "a bad path" in being loyal to Trump but would "not be the villain" in the story, in an interview with US broadcaster ABC.

"He directed me to make the payments. He directed me to become involved in these matters,” Cohen said.

In response to Trump’s denials and claims his former lawyer was set on embarrassing him, Cohen said: “It is absolutely not true. I don’t think there’s anybody who believes that."

He also added that Trump knew the payments were wrong and was very concerned about how news of the affairs would affect the 2016 election campaign.

On Wednesday Cohen pleaded guilty to charges of tax and bank fraud, lying to Congress regarding discussions about building a Trump Tower in Moscow and campaign finance violations - the payments to two women who alleged to have had affairs with Trump.

But Cohen has insisted it was all at his former employer's direction, saying: “Nothing at the Trump Organisation was ever done unless it was run through Mr. Trump.

“He knows the truth. I know the truth. Others know the truth,” Cohen said. “And here is the truth: People of the United States of America, people of the world, don’t believe what he is saying. The man doesn’t tell the truth. And it is sad that I should take responsibility for his dirty deeds.”

The comments come as part of a number of public apologies from Cohen who has been showing remorse for his own misdeeds while working as one of Trump's key men, having been sentenced to three years in prison earlier this week.