WEST PALM BEACH, Florida — US President Donald Trump said Saturday that he doesn’t expect Michael Cohen, his longtime personal lawyer and fixer, to “flip” as the government investigates Cohen’s business dealings.
Trump, in a series of tweets, accused The New York Times and one of its reporters of “going out of their way to destroy Michael Cohen and his relationship with me in the hope that he will ‘flip'” — a term that can mean cooperating with the government in exchange for leniency.
“Most people will flip if the Government lets them out of trouble,” even if “it means lying or making up stories,” Trump said, before adding: “Sorry, I don’t see Michael doing that despite the horrible Witch Hunt and the dishonest media!”
The FBI raided Cohen’s home, office, and hotel room this month looking for evidence of fraud as they conduct a criminal investigation. That included records related to payments Cohen made in 2016 to adult film star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal, both of whom allege having had sexual encounters with Trump, people familiar with the raid have told The Associated Press.
Prosecutors have said they’re investigating Cohen’s personal business dealings but haven’t said what crime they believe he may have committed. Cohen’s lawyers have called the raid an assault on attorney-client privilege and Trump has said it was “an attack on our country.”
In the tweets, sent shortly after arriving at one of his Florida golf courses, Trump personally attacked New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman and accused the newspaper of using “non-existent ‘sources'” in a Friday story about the relationship between Trump and Cohen, who has said he would “take a bullet” for his boss.
The New York Times and a third rate reporter named Maggie Haberman, known as a Crooked H flunkie who I don’t speak to and have nothing to do with, are going out of their way to destroy Michael Cohen and his relationship with me in the hope that he will “flip.” They use….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 21, 2018
The Times responded on Twitter, defending Haberman and standing by the story.
Trump later deleted and reposted the tweets correcting the spelling of Haberman’s name.