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Trump accuses former personal lawyer of "making stories"

(Xinhua)    07:54, August 23, 2018

WASHINGTON, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Donald Trump Wednesday accused his former long-time personal lawyer Michael Cohen of "making stories" in order to get a "deal."

"If anyone is looking for a good lawyer, I would strongly suggest that you don't retain the services of Michael Cohen!" Trump tweeted.

Cohen has pleaded guilty to eight criminal charges, including campaign-finance violations, tax evasion and bank fraud at a federal court in Manhattan, New York.

"Michael Cohen plead guilty to two counts of campaign finance violations that are not a crime," Trump said, adding "President Obama had a big campaign finance violation and it was easily settled!"

In another tweet, Trump praised his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort as "a brave man."

"I feel very badly for Paul Manafort and his wonderful family. 'Justice' took a 12 year old tax case, among other things, applied tremendous pressure on him and, unlike Michael Cohen, he refused to 'break' - make up stories in order to get a 'deal'. Such respect for a brave man!" Trump tweeted.

Manafort was found guilty of eight out of 18 criminal charges at a federal jury in Virginia on Tuesday. He has denied all the charges.

In court on Tuesday, Cohen reportedly said "in coordination and at the direction of a candidate for federal office," he kept information that would have been harmful to the candidate and the campaign from becoming public.

Cohen didn't mention Trump's name but it's widely thought his claim was a clear reference to the president.

"On or about summer 2016, in coordination and with and at the behest of the candidate, I and the CEO of a media company worked together to keep an individual with information that would be harmful to the candidate from publicly disclosing this information ... under which she received compensation of 150,000 dollars," Cohen was quoted as saying in court.

Cohen surrendered to the FBI earlier Tuesday. It remains unclear if the former Trump lawyer has committed to cooperate with the ongoing Special Counsel Robert Mueller probe over the alleged Russia meddling into the 2016 U.S. general elections.

Federal investigators raided Cohen's office, home and hotel room in New York earlier this year and seized various electronic devices and documents which reportedly include information that Cohen paid porn star Stormy Daniels so as to keep her silent about accusations of an affair with Trump.

Judge William Pauley set a sentencing date for Cohen for Dec. 12.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Liang Jun, Bianji)

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