Trump: ‘Flipping’ to take a plea deal ‘almost ought to be illegal’

President Trump on Thursday suggested that the practice of cooperating with prosecutors as part of a plea agreement “ought to be illegal” after his former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, said in a guilty plea that he violated campaign finance laws at Trump’s direction.

Trump told “Fox & Friends” host Ainsley Earhardt that Cohen was able to secure a better deal because he used Trump’s name. The president suggested in a tweet on Wednesday that Cohen lied to get such a deal.

{mosads}”If somebody defrauded a bank and he’s gonna get 10 years in jail, or 20 years in jail, but you can say something bad about Donald Trump and you’ll go down to two years or three years, which is the deal he made, in all fairness to him most people are going to do that,” Trump said on “Fox & Friends.”

“It’s called flipping, and it almost ought to be illegal,” he added.

Trump suggested that individuals who flip aren’t being truthful, telling Earhardt that they “make up stories” and “just make up lies.”

“I’ve seen it many times,” Trump said, without providing examples. “They make up things and now they go from 10 years to they’re a national hero.”

Legal experts have noted in the aftermath of Cohen’s guilty plea that prosecutors would not have accepted his plea if they believed he was not being truthful.

On Tuesday, Cohen pleaded guilty to eight felony charges, including two counts of violating campaign finance law by arranging the payments to two women who say they had affairs with Trump.

The president pushed back on that claim, telling Earhardt that he found out about the arrangements “later on” and argued such a payment would not constitute a campaign finance law violation.

Both claims have been undercut by Cohen.

The president’s former attorney recorded a conversation, released last month, in which he and Trump discuss how they would purchase the rights to the story of former Playboy model Karen McDougal, who says she had an affair with Trump in 2006. 

In addition, the payments Cohen described in court are what is known as an in-kind contribution on behalf of the Trump campaign. 

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