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Trump calls ex-lawyer Cohen a 'rat'

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Trump calls ex-lawyer Cohen a 'rat'

Trump calls ex-lawyer Cohen a 'rat'

U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday derided his former attorney Michael Cohen as a 'rat' for cooperating with federal investigators probing alleged hush-money payments Cohen made to silence women who claim they had sexual affairs with Trump.

Zachary Goelman reports.

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Trump calls ex-lawyer Cohen a 'rat'

U.S. President Donald Trump deriding his former longtime fixer Michael Cohen for cooperating with federal investigators, as the number of criminal probes circling Trump continues mount.

"Remember, Michael Cohen only became a “Rat” after the FBI did something which was absolutely unthinkable & unheard of until the Witch Hunt was illegally started," he tweeted on Sunday.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) MICHAEL COHEN'S FORMER ATTORNEY AND ADVISER LANNY DAVIS, SAYING: "This is the top law enforcement officer in our system of government calling somebody who decides to tell the government the truth, a 'rat.'

That's the language of a mobster, not of the president." Lanny Davis previously served as Michael Cohen's attorney and on Sunday defended his former client's decision to plead guilty to numerous felonies, including lying to Congress about a Trump Organization business deal in Moscow, and for his role in paying hush money meant to silence women who claimed they'd had sexual affairs with Trump.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) MICHAEL COHEN'S FORMER ATTORNEY AND ADVISER LANNY DAVIS, SAYING: "He ended up lying, and he has regretted it, and he's going to jail for it." A judge sentenced Cohen to three years in jail last week.

He said he made payoffs to women during the 2016 election at the direction of the president, which prosecutors say broke federal campaign finance laws.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) MICHAEL COHEN, SAYING: "He directed me to make the payments, he directed me to become involved in these matters." Donald Trump has not been charged.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) WHITE HOUSE SPOKESPERSON SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, SAYING: "The president was clear that he directed no one to do anything wrong.

Particularly Michael Cohen.

He's been clear on this.

And I think we've see that play out, day in, day out, as we've all said a number of times." The president has repeatedly changed his story about what he knew about the payments, and when.

Cohen's attorneys say he plans to continue to cooperate with investigators.

And investigations continue to crop up.

The Wall Street Journal last week reporting federal prosecutors have opened a criminal probe into spending by Trump's 2017 inaugural committee.

New York state is suing Trump's charitable foundation, he faces personal lawsuits by women who accuse him of sexual misconduct, and Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating whether his campaign got help from Russia to win the 2016 presidential election.

Trump has repeatedly denied wrongdoing, and has called the multiple investigations into his administration and business ties a 'witch hunt.'



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