Putting family over president, Cohen says

Michael Cohen:

Michael Cohen: 'My wife, my daughter and my son have my first loyalty'

But in his first in-depth interview since the FBI raided his office and homes in April, Cohen strongly signaled his willingness to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller and federal prosecutors in the Southern District of NY - even if that puts President Trump in jeopardy.

"My wife, my daughter and my son have my first loyalty and always will", Mr Cohen told George Stephanopoulos of ABC News in an off-camera interview that was reported on Good Morning America. But don't try and convince me at this point that he deserves the benefit of the doubt any more than any of the people with whom he used to work, let alone the guy for whom he used to run errands.

Judicial Watch first sought "any and all records of correspondence and communications between the office of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and the office of special counsel Robert Mueller concerning, regarding, or relating to the April 9, 2018, raids on the office and hotel room of Michael Cohen" on April 12.

This followed an Federal Bureau of Investigation raid of Cohen's office in April where prosecutors seized documents relating to a $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford, that was made to allegedly keep her quiet about her claims of an affair with Trump.

Stephanopoulos, discussing his interview on air Monday, said that Cohen did not praise Trump "at all" during their conversation.

"I don't like the term 'witch hunt, '" Cohen said, taking issue with the way Trump has characterized Mueller's investigation into Russian Federation interference in the 2016 election and possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation.

"To be crystal clear, my wife, my daughter and my son, and this country have my first loyalty", Michael Cohen told ABC News in an interview broadcast on Monday.

"I would not do or say a thing that might be perceived as interfering with their professional review of the evidence and the facts", Cohen added.

Cohen gave the interview shortly after hiring former federal prosecutor Guy Petrillo as his new attorney - bringing to an end an arrangement between his lawyers and Trump's in which the two legal teams shared information.

Friends of Cohen's told CNN last month that he has signaled that he is "willing to give" investigators information on the President if that's what they are looking for. Cohen says he's exhausted of Avenatti using the First Amendment as an excuse for his numerous television appearances and social media posts.

"I respect the prosecutors". "I can't comment, under advice of my counsel, due to the ongoing investigation by the US attorney's office in the Southern District of New York", Cohen said. "One day I will answer", Cohen said, responding to a question on whether Trump was aware of the payment to Daniels, which has become central to the story. "I respect the Federal Bureau of Investigation as an institution, as well as their agents", Cohen said, rejecting the notion of a 'witch hunt, ' Trump's favorite name to call the protracted 'Russiagate'. I don't want him to shut up, but I'll reserve judgment until he puts up.

Cohen said that he has been fully cooperating with both FBI Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team and with Congress, in their lingering "Russiagate" investigation. "But I can't comment now on the advice of my counsel", he said.

He also told ABC he did not agree with Trump's recent tweet repeating Russian President Vladimir Putin's claim that Russia did not interfere in the election. "I respect our nation's intelligence agencies'. unanimous conclusions", Cohen said, without explicitly stating that Donald Trump had denied such an occurrence.

"I want to regain my name and my reputation and my life back".

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