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>> Hey, Michael!>> Michael, Michael.>> He may be facing three years in prison, but Michael Cohen says that now he's free from Donald Trump he's free to speak his mind>> I have my freedom.>> In an exclusive interview with ABC News' George Stephanopoulos. Trump's former attorney said that contrary to what the president says, Trump did direct him to help silence his alleged mistresses late in the presidential campaign.
>> First of all, nothing in the Trump organization was ever done unless it was run through Mr Trump. He directed me to make the payments, he directed me to become involved in these matters. I just reviewed the documents in order to protect him. I gave loyalty to someone who truthfully does not deserve loyalty
>> He was trying to hide what you were doing, correct?>> Correct.>> And he knew it was wrong?>> Of course.>> Cohen was sentenced to 36 months for campaign finance violations and other financial crimes, and two months for lying to congress. Trump's orbit is casting Cohen as a liar but he says his story is backed up by Robert Muller's investigation.
>> The special counsel stated emphatically that the information that I gave to them was credible.>> And the publisher of the National Enquirer admitted it paid money to a former Playboy model. To prevent her from going public with allegations of an affair with Trump with the intent of influencing the 2016 race.
>> The president was clear that he directed no one to do anything wrong, particularly Michael Cohen, he's been clear on this.>> The strategy from the White House and its allies seems to shift between denying Trump directed Cohen to downplaying the crime itself. Trump's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani told the Daily Beast, quote, nobody got killed and nobody got robbed, this was not a big crime.
Republican senator, Orrin Hatch also shrugged it off, saying quote, you can make anything a crime under the current laws. NBC News reported Thursday that Trump was at a meeting in August of 2016 when Cohen and David Pecker, Chairman of the publisher of the National Enquirer. Discussed a scheme to pay off women to suppress their stories about having had affairs with Trump.
Trump has denied the affairs and argues the payments to the two women were not campaign contributions.