Trump snaps at reporter after Cohen pardon question
President Trump on Tuesday angrily dismissed a question about whether he is considering a pardon for Michael Cohen, his longtime personal attorney.
Trump’s face turned sour and he shook his head when ABC News’s Jon Karl asked about a possible pardon.
“Stupid question,” the president curtly told the reporter in the Oval Office, where he was meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron.
Trump reacted with fury earlier this month when the FBI raided Cohen’s home, office, hotel room and safety deposit box, a move that has some Trump allies worried that Cohen’s past actions placed the president in legal jeopardy.
Trump recently expressed confidence, however, that Cohen would not “flip” and testify against him.
“Most people will flip if the Government lets them out of trouble, even if it means lying or making up stories. Sorry, I don’t see Michael doing that despite the horrible Witch Hunt and the dishonest media!” Trump tweeted last week.
Yet the White House has previously refused to rule out a pardon for Cohen, a move that could remove any possible leverage investigators have over him.
“It’s hard to close a door on something that hasn’t taken place,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters on Monday.
Cohen has been the subject of a months-long criminal investigation into his “personal business dealings” and not his legal work on behalf of Trump, according to court documents made public last Friday.
Investigators are also reportedly looking into a $130,000 payment Cohen made to adult-film actress Stormy Daniels in the weeks before the 2016 presidential election. Daniels claims she had sex with Trump in 2006 and that the payment was part of a nondisclosure agreement.
Trump has said he did not know about the payment, which Cohen has acknowledged he made.
“You’ll have to ask Michael Cohen. Michael is my attorney. And you’ll have to ask Michael Cohen,” the president told reporters earlier this month.
The Cohen raid was triggered in part by a referral from special counsel Robert Mueller, who is leading the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
Cohen worked for the Trump Organization for years and was involved in a push to build a Trump-branded building in Moscow in 2015 and early 2016, an effort that is said to be of interest to Mueller’s team.
Updated at 3:24 p.m.
More Media News
What America's Thinking