- The Washington Times - Monday, July 2, 2018

Michael Cohen declined to defend President Trump or confirm any involvement in the Russian scandal during an interview with ABC News released on Monday.

“My wife, my daughter and my son have my first loyalty and always will,” Mr. Cohen, Mr. Trump’s former personal lawyer, told ABC News’ George Stephanopolous. “I put family and country first.”

When asked about the president’s possible knowledge about the 2016 Trump Tower meeting between several of his campaign officials and Russians, Mr. Cohen declined to comment, on the advice of his new head counsel Guy Petrillo.

Mr. Petrillo’s hiring will end the joint defense agreement shared by Mr. Cohen and the president, ABC News reported.

In the interview, Mr. Cohen praised the FBI, despite describing the past year as “difficult, upsetting and unpleasant.”

“When they [the FBI] searched my hotel room and my home, it was obviously upsetting to me and my family. Nonetheless, the agents were respectful, courteous and professional. I thanked them for their service, and as they left, we shook hands,” Mr. Cohen said.

He also strongly condemned Russia’s interference and confirmed that he would cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, should they need to interview him.

“I don’t like the term witch hunt,” Mr. Cohen said about the Mueller investigation.

The former Trump lawyer told Mr. Stephanopoulos that he hoped speaking out would help him achieve “resolution.”

“I want to regain my name and my reputation and my life back,” he said.

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