WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Thursday that he regrets tapping Michael Cohen to serve as his personal attorney, one day after Trump’s longtime fixer was sentenced to three years in prison for, in addition to other crimes, campaign finance violations that implicate the president.
“In retrospect, I made a mistake,” Trump said during an interview with Fox News’ Harris Faulkner.
Trump said that Cohen did “very low-level work” while in his employ, adding that he was focused more on public relations than law.
In addition to campaign finance violations, Cohen was sentenced Wednesday for a myriad of crimes, including tax evasion and lying to Congress.
However, the campaign finance issue is the one that seems to directly implicate the president.
Cohen orchestrated payments to two women, adult film star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal, shortly before the 2016 election aimed at keeping them silent over alleged affairs they had with Trump years prior.
According to federal prosecutors and Cohen, the attorney acted under the direction of then-candidate Trump with the intention of influencing the presidential election.
Compounding the president’s troubles, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New York announced after Cohen’s sentencing that tabloid giant American Media Inc. has acknowledged that they worked in concert with the Trump campaign to purchase the rights to McDougal’s story in order to suppress it.
The move was part of a non-prosecution agreement signed onto by American Media, which owns the National Enquirer.
Trump said Thursday that he was not sure if Cohen had even paid the company.
However, in July, CNN released audio of Cohen discussing plans to fund the payment with Trump.