Cohen: Family, country ‘first loyalty,’ not Trump

Cohen: Family, country ‘first loyalty,’ not Trump

President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's debate showdown Arpaio files libel suit against New York Times IMF's Christine Lagarde delays trip to Middle East MORE’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen said in an ABC interview that his “first loyalty” belongs to his family, not to the president.

“My wife, my daughter and my son have my first loyalty and always will,” Cohen told George Stephanopoulos in an interview that aired Monday. “I put family and country first.”


Cohen, who was known to be Trump’s fixer for many years, is currently under criminal investigation in New York for bank fraud and campaign finance violations.

Federal prosecutors are also looking into his $130,000 payment to adult-film star Stormy Daniels as part of a nondisclosure agreement related to an affair she claims she had with Trump in 2006.

The FBI raided Cohen’s office and hotel room earlier this year, collecting thousands of documents, most of which are being handed over to prosecutors.

There has been speculation that Cohen may “flip” on Trump and cooperate with special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and possible collusion between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign.

Cohen recently stepped down from the Republican National Committee's finance board and hired New York lawyer Guy Petrillo to represent him in the federal investigation. 

Trump has continued to praise Cohen as a “fine person” and denied in April that Cohen would flip, saying that while “most people” would, he doesn’t “see Michael doing that.”

Though Cohen has previously suggested he would protect the president at all costs, he avoided directly answering Stephanopoulos’s question about whether he would choose between protecting Trump or his family if federal prosecutors forced him to do so.

“To be crystal clear, my wife, my daughter and my son, and this country have my first loyalty,” he said.