Cohen, President Donald Trump's longtime personal lawyer who is under investigation by federal prosecutors in NY, said in his Twitter post Sunday, July 1, that he sat down for an interview with ABC News and his "silence is broken".
Cohen gave the interview shortly after hiring former federal prosecutor Guy Petrillo as his new attorney - bringing to an end an arrangement between his lawyers and Trump's in which the two legal teams shared information. Stephanopoulos tweeted a similar photo. Meeting at a Manhattan hotel, Cohen seemed to show a new willingness to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller and federal prosecutors.
Porn actress Daniels is suing Trump and Cohen, as well as the shell company Essential Consultants, seeking to invalidate a non-disclosure agreement she signed days before the 2016 presidential election that attempted to prevent her from speaking out about a one-night stand she alleges she had with Trump more than a decade ago.
"I don't agree with those who demonize or vilify the FBI", Cohen was quoted as saying.
"If Mr. Cohen really gave an "off camera" interview to @GStephanopoulos (whom I respect) for @GMA, he is dumber than I thought".
The mounting pressure on Cohen and his family since the April FBI raid of his home, hotel room and office has been weighing on him and his family, sources say.
"I want to regain my name and my reputation and my life back", he said. He said agents who raided his office and his home acted professionally. "One day I will answer", he said. "I thanked them for their service and, as they left, we shook hands".
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She said that if Cohen wanted to he could simply cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation without making public statements.
Cohen of course is still under active criminal investigation by the FBI and federal prosecutors in NY.
Trump has alternately defended Cohen, expressed outrage over a raid by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on the lawyer's office in April and distanced himself from the man who previously said he would take a bullet for Trump.
"I don't like the term 'witch hunt, '" Mr Cohen said, taking issue with the way Mr Trump has spoken about Mr Mueller's investigation into Russian Federation interference in the 2016 election and possible co-ordination between the Mr Trump campaign and Russian Federation.
"I am not a villain of this story, and I will not allow others to try to depict me that way", he told ABC News.
It was a stark contrast for a man who once said he would "take a bullet" for Trump and always remain loyal. When asked by Stephanopoulos whether Trump directed him to pay Daniels for her silence, Cohen said that he could not comment, but suggested that he may at some point. "It was simply an example of poor judgment". Cohen told ABC that his decision to cooperate with federal investigators will be decided based on Petrillo's legal advice. In a statement released in February, he confirmed making the payment but said, "Neither the Trump Organization nor the Trump campaign was a party to the transaction with Ms. Clifford, and neither reimbursed me for the payment, either directly or indirectly". "I respect our nation's intelligence agencies'. unanimous conclusions", Cohen said, without explicitly stating that Donald Trump had denied such an occurrence.
Information for this article was contributed by John Wagner, Rosalind S. Helderman and Tom Hamburger of The Washington Post; by Tom Hays of The Associated Press; by Margaret Talev, Shahien Nasiripour and Shannon Pettypiece of Bloomberg News; and by Alan Feuer of The New York Times.