Trump Admits Cohen Repped Him On ‘This Crazy Stormy Daniels Deal’

Earlier this month, Donald Trump denied that he knew anything about the $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels made by his personal attorney and “fixer,” Michael Cohen. But on Thursday morning, Trump appeared to contradict that earlier denial, admitting in an interview on the Fox News program Fox and Friends that Cohen was, in fact, his representative in “this crazy Stormy Daniels deal.”

At the same time, Trump claimed that Cohen represented him on only “a tiny, tiny little fraction” of his legal matters, a claim which would appear to badly weaken the argument that Cohen and Trump are currently attempting make in federal court, that documents seized from Cohen by the FBI are protected by attorney-client privilege.

Lawyers for Cohen and Trump will make that argument again in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in a hearing set for Thursday morning at noon Eastern time.

Federal prosecutors were quick to exploit on Trump’s admissions, telling Judge Kimba Wood in a court document that Trump’s admission that Cohen represents him on a “fraction” of his legal work indicates that “the seized materials are unlikely to contain voluminous privileged documents.” 

“Michael would represent me, and represent me on some things,” Trump told the Fox and Friends hosts. “He represents me, like with this crazy Stormy Daniels deal he represented me,  and from what I see, he did absolutely nothing wrong."

Daniels attorney, Michael Avenatti, also appeared on television Thursday morning, telling the MSNBC program Morning Joe that Trump’s statements on Fox were “a gift from the heavens” for Daniels’ lawsuit against Cohen and Trump.

“That’s a hugely damaging admission by the president, because according to what he said on Air Force One a few weeks ago, he didn’t know anything about the agreement,” Avenatti told the Morning Joe hosts. “He tripped himself up, he’s just admitted that in fact, Michael Cohen’s represented him in connection with the Stormy Daniels situation.”

Avenatti also noted the contradiction in a statement on his own Twitter feed.

“Mr. Trump and Mr. Cohen previously represented to the American people that Mr. Cohen acted on his own and Mr. Trump knew nothing about the agreement with my client, the $130k payment, etc.,” he wrote. “As I predicted, that has now been shown to be completely false.”

On Wednesday, Cohen filed papers in the Daniels lawsuit — which is being heard in federal court in Los Angeles — asserting that he will refuse to answer questions in the case, instead invoking his Fifth Amendment right against incriminating himself by his own statements.

But in his Fox interview on Thursday, Trump said that Cohen’s assertion of his right against self-incrimination had nothing to do with the Daniels case but instead was about Cohen’s own separate business affairs.

“Michael is in business. He is really a businessman, a fairly big business as I understand it. I don’t know his business,” Trump said. “This has nothing to do with me. I’ve been told I’m not involved.”

Trump’s claim could undermine Cohen’s assertion of his Fifth Amendment rights in the Daniels case, by separating that case from Cohen’s personal business affairs.

Photos by James Chang / Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons