President Trump’s legal troubles escalated on Tuesday when his longtime lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen pled guilty to charges of violating campaign-finance law and implicated Trump in the crimes.
Now, Trump is lashing out.
“This whole thing about ‘flipping,’ they call it — I know all about flipping. Thirty, 40 years I have been watching flippers. Everything is wonderful and then they get ten years in jail and they flip on whoever the next highest one is, or as high as you can go. It almost ought to be outlawed,” Trump said Wednesday in a Fox News interview that aired this morning. “It’s not fair.”
The president’s comments came after Cohen turned on him and struck a deal with prosecutors in Manhattan federal court, pleading guilty to eight charges, including tax evasion and felony campaign-finance violations. In his plea, he admitted that he’d made illegal payments during the 2016 campaign season to silence two women who claimed they had affairs with Trump, and said he’d made the payments at Trump’s behest.
The payments constituted an illegal in-kind contribution to the campaign, and Trump has circulated several stories about when he knew they’d been made. Cohen last month released a secret audio recording in which he and Trump and discuss buying the rights to one of the women’s stories.
Trump, however, called the violations “not a big deal, frankly,” and insisted he is not implicated in Cohen’s crimes.
“He makes a better deal when he uses me. Like everybody else,” Trump said Wednesday. “If somebody defrauded a bank and he’s gonna get ten years in jail, or 20 years in jail, but you can say something bad about Donald Trump and you’ll go down to two years or three years, which is the deal he made, in all fairness to him most people are going to do that. . . . It’s called flipping and it almost ought to be illegal.”