By Betsy Klein, CNN
“He’s a weak person,” Trump told reporters on the White House South Lawn before departing for Buenos Aires, Argentina.
“He was convicted with a fairly long-term sentence with things unrelated to the Trump Organization,” Trump said, citing Cohen’s legal issues with mortgages and the IRS.
Trump speculated that “what he’s trying to do is get a reduced sentence.”
He later reiterated: “What he’s trying to do — because he’s a weak person and not a very smart person.”
“What he’s trying to do — and it’s very simple, he’s got himself a big prison sentence and he’s trying to get a much lesser prison sentence by making up a story,” Trump said.
Trump was emphatic that Cohen was “lying,” but it is unclear what he believes Cohen is lying about.
“Michael Cohen is lying and he’s trying to get a reduced sentence for things that have nothing to do with me,” he said.
The President defended the deal for a possible Trump real estate venture in Moscow. The project, Trump said, “lasted a short period of time,” adding that he decided not to do it because he wanted to focus on running for President.
However, he maintained that “there would’ve been nothing wrong if I did do it.”
Asked why he worked with Cohen for so long, Trump said, “Because a long time ago he did me a favor. A long time ago he did me a favor.”