Ex-federal prosecutor says Trump could argue payments to women alleging affairs were a 'private matter'

Former federal prosecutor Joseph Moreno said on Thursday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump cites tax cuts over judges as having biggest impact of his presidency Trump cites tax cuts over judges as having biggest impact of his presidency Ocasio-Cortez claps back at Trump after he cites her in tweet rejecting impeachment MORE will likely argue that Michael Cohen's payments to two women, who alleged to have affairs with Trump, in the weeks before the 2016 presidential campaign were personal matters, and not directly related to the campaign. 

"You can see the Trump defense already beginning, already taking shape in the form of his tweets," Moreno told Hill.TV's Krystal Ball and Buck Sexton on "Rising." 

Moreno said that Trump could argue that "there was a campaign going on, but I have a long history of ... dealing with these kinds of allegations, and so I would have done this whether there was a campaign going on or not. It was a private affair, I also wanted to keep it from my wife, and therefore what I did was not exclusive to the campaign."

Cohen, who was sentenced Wednesday to three years in prison, has said Trump pushed him to make payments to two women — former Playboy model Karen McDougal and adult-film actress Stormy Daniels — to block them in the final weeks of the 2016 presidential campaign from talking about their alleged affairs with Trump over 10 years ago. 

Trump issued a series of tweets on Thursday saying that he did not direct Cohen, his former lawyer, to break the law. 

“I never directed Michael Cohen to break the law,” Trump tweeted. “He was a lawyer and he is supposed to know the law. It is called ‘advice of counsel,’ and a lawyer has great liability if a mistake is made. That is why they get paid."

— Julia Manchester