What do you think? Leave a respectful comment.

Cohen calls Trump ‘a conman’ and ‘a cheat’

In public testimony before the House Oversight Committee, former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen said some of his past offenses were “for the benefit of, at the direction of, and in coordination with” President Trump. He also called his former boss a conman, racist and cheat but said he had no "direct evidence" of Trump's campaign colluding with Russia.

Read the Full Transcript

  • Judy Woodruff:

    It was a hearing not seen before.

    The president's former lawyer Michael Cohen publicly stated that Mr. Trump directed hush money payments, knew in advance of WikiLeaks' plans to release Hillary Clinton's e-mails, and is subject — is the subject of ongoing criminal investigations.

    In more than five hours of combative testimony before the House Oversight Committee, the man who once said he would take a bullet for the president repeatedly slammed his former boss' character.

  • Michael Cohen:

    I am ashamed that I chose to take part in concealing Mr. Trump's illicit acts, rather than listening to my own conscience.

    I am ashamed because I know what Mr. Trump is. He's a racist. He is a con man, and he's a cheat.

    He asked me to pay off an adult film star with whom he had an affair, and to lie to his wife about it, which I did.

    The country has seen Mr. Trump court white supremacists and bigots. You have heard him call poorer countries (EXPLETIVE DELETED) holes. His private — in private, he is even worse. He once asked me if I could name a country run by a black person that wasn't a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) hole. This was when Barack Obama was president of the United States.

    And while we were once driving through a struggling neighborhood in Chicago, he commented that only black people could live that way.

    And he told me that black people would never vote for him because they were too stupid.

    Mr. Trump tasked me to handle the negative press surrounding his medical deferment from the Vietnam draft. Mr. Trump claimed it was because of a bone spur, but when I asked for medical records, he gave me none and said that there was no surgery. He told me not to answer the specific questions by reporters, but rather offer simply the fact that he received a medical deferment.

    He finished the conversation with the following comment. "You think I'm stupid? I'm not going to Vietnam."

    Questions have been raised about whether I know of direct evidence that Mr. Trump or his campaign colluded with Russia. I do not. And I want to be clear. But I have my suspicions.

    Last fall, I pled guilty in federal court to felonies for the benefit of, at the direction of, and in coordination with Individual 1. For the record, Individual 1 is President Donald J. Trump.

    I did the same thing that you're doing now for 10 years. I protected Mr. Trump for 10 years. The more people that follow Mr. Trump, as I did, blindly are going to suffer that same consequences that I am suffering.

Listen to this Segment