Â Associated Press
NEW YORK - After once boasting he would â€śtake a bulletâ€ť for Donald Trump, the presidentâ€™s longtime personal lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen fired a possible warning shot toward the White House, saying he now puts â€śfamily and country first.â€ť
In his first interview since federal agents raided his home and hotel room three months ago as part of an investigation into his business dealings, Cohen made clear that protecting Trump is not his priority.
â€śMy wife, my daughter and my son have my first loyalty and always will,â€ť Cohen told ABCâ€™s George Stephanopoulos in an off-camera interview that was reported on Mondayâ€™s â€śGood Morning America.â€ť
Cohen, who hasnâ€™t been charged, wouldnâ€™t say if he would cooperate with prosecutors in the probe. But he also did nothing to dampen such speculation, taking issue with some of Trumpâ€™s criticisms of the special counselâ€™s Russia investigation and even going out of his way to praise the FBI.
â€śI donâ€™t agree with those who demonize or vilify the FBI,â€ť Cohen was quoted as saying. The raid, he added, â€śwas obviously upsetting to me and my family. Nonetheless, the agents were respectful, courteous and professional.â€ť
Robert Mintz, a former federal prosecutor now in private practice, said that Cohen â€śhas sent every signal he possibly can to prosecutors that he will put his own interests first and will jump at any deal that may save him from going to jail.â€ť
â€śBy putting distance between himself and the president on issues both large and small,â€ť Mintz added, â€śheâ€™s telegraphing to prosecutors that he intends to be his own man and in the end will do exactly what he thinks is best for himself and his family.â€ť
Cohen was Trumpâ€™s self-described fixer and a key player in the Trump Organization for more than a decade, regularly berating reporters and threatening lawsuits against anyone who posed a challenge to his boss.