Former Trump attorney Michael Cohen issued a warning to his former boss on Monday, telling George Stephanopoulos that his “first loyalty” would always be to his family and the United States of America.
“My wife, my daughter and my son have my first loyalty and always will,” said Cohen. “I put family and country first.”
On the set of “Good Morning America,” Stephanopoulos made it clear that Cohen made the statement about his family “with emphasis.”
In @GStephanopoulos' exclusive interview with Pres. Trump's former personal attorney Michael Cohen, Cohen stays mum on commitment to his longtime client: “To be crystal clear, my wife, my daughter and my son, and this country have my first loyalty.” https://t.co/V7gE1FomMf pic.twitter.com/TPu7kkiOpJ
— Good Morning America (@GMA) July 2, 2018
The statement is a far cry from previous assertions of loyalty that Cohen has offered on behalf of Trump while he worked for him as a personal attorney. In an interview last September, Cohen said he would even take a bullet for the president if he had to.
“I’d never walk away,” he told Vanity Fair’s Emily Jane Fox, a statement he repeated despite her insistent reminders about his family.
Cohen also offered a markedly different story about his involvement over the $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels. Cohen declined to repeat past assertions that he paid Daniels from his own money and from his own initiative, and said only that he would get into the details of what really happened later.
“I want to answer. One day I will answer,” he told Stephanopoulos. “But for now, I can’t comment further on advice of my counsel.”
Cohen’s home and office were raided by the FBI in April 2018. It remains unclear why the raid took place or what was the context of the documents they removed from his possession. There has been growing rumbling among the White House press corps that Cohen would “flip” on Trump in return for a deal with prosecutors for some as yet unspecified criminal activity.
The speculation reached Trump himself last month, who told press before his visit with the G7 in Canada that he was not worried whatsoever about Cohen flipping because there was nothing to flip about.
“I’m not worried because I did nothing wrong,” he said.