Heather Nauert withdraws her name from consideration for UN Ambassador job
Trump accuses Cohen of lying to get deal
President Trump on Wednesday accused Michael Cohen of making up stories to "get a 'deal'" after the former Trump lawyer implicated the president in a campaign finance case.
Trump said in a tweet he has "such respect" for his former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, who was convicted on eight counts of bank and tax fraud, because he did not "break" like Cohen by providing damaging information to prosecutors.
"I feel very badly for Paul Manafort and his wonderful family. 'Justice' took a 12 year old tax case, among other things, applied tremendous pressure on him and, unlike Michael Cohen, he refused to 'break' - make up stories in order to get a 'deal.' Such respect for a brave man!" he wrote.
Trump in another tweet claimed the charges to which Cohen pleaded guilty "are not a crime" and argued that former President Obama was guilty of similar "violations."
The Federal Election Commission found that Obama's 2008 campaign was too slow to notify the commission about some donations over $1,000 that were made in the final 20 days of the race. Those charges are seen as less serious than what Cohen was accused of (they are punishable by fine) and Obama himself was never implicated.
The president is furiously trying to undermine the credibility of Cohen, whose claims pose a grave political and legal threat to Trump. But in doing so, Trump made a series of dubious claims.
Cohen pleaded guilty to violating campaign finance law by setting up payments for porn star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal in order to keep their allegations of affairs with Trump quiet in the lead-up to the 2016 election.
Cohen said in court that he did so at the direction of Trump in order to help his campaign.
Manafort's conviction was related to fraudulent financial activity that was ongoing as recently as 2017, undercutting Trump's claim that his former campaign chief was taken down by a "12 year old tax case."
Trump also argued that because the Manafort jury could not come to an agreement on 10 other charges, it means special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation is a "Witch Hunt!"
Many legal experts said Manafort's conviction strengthens the Mueller investigation, which is examining ties between the Trump campaign and Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election, including whether Trump has obstructed the probe.