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Tipsheet

Stephanopoulos to Cohen: Why Should We Believe You?

Fresh off his sentencing hearing, former Donald Trump lawyer Michael Cohen is accusing the president of lying about those hush payments he made two weeks before the 2016 presidential election. He reportedly directed Cohen to pay the nearly $400,000 to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal for them to keep quiet about supposed affairs. 

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"I gave loyalty to someone who truthfully did not deserve it," Cohen told ABC's George Stephanopoulos Friday morning.

"Of course" he asked me to do illegal things, Cohen said of his client. He regrets playing along.

The lawyer expanded on the suspicious timing of the payments. They were made two weeks before the election, "post-Billy Bush comments," AKA the instance that infamous "Access Hollywood" tape came out.

"So, yes, he was very concerned about how this would affect the election," the lawyer reasoned, adding that Trump "knows the truth."

Trump denied all of it, tweeting that he "never" directed Cohen to break the law and that he is not in violation of campaign finance laws.

Additionally, Cohen was sentenced to three years in jail for lying to the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence about a Trump Tower project in Moscow, and tax evasion.

Considering Cohen was charged for lying to Congress, Stephanopoulos asked Cohen a justified answer: "Why should we believe you now?"

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"Because the special counsel stated emphatically that the information that I gave to them is credible and helpful," Cohen argued. "There is a substantial amount of information that they possessed that corroborates the fact that I am telling the truth."

"I am done with the lying," he added. "I am done being loyal to President Trump, and my first loyalty belongs to my wife, my daughter, my son and this country."

Is Trump in real trouble? It really depends on his intent behind the hush payments, legal analysts agree. It's one thing if he made the payments to protect his personal interests and his wife Melania. But if he had a dual purpose to influence the campaign, that could be a real issue.

"I will spend the rest of my life in order to fix the mistake that I made," Cohen pledged. 

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