President Donald Trump on Thursday downplayed the amount of legal work his longtime personal attorney Michael Cohen carried out for him, but his description of Cohen’s role doesn’t line up with Cohen’s account of his work for Trump in early 2017.
“Let’s just say I have no shortage of work. It encompasses all aspects of his life from his business to the personal,” Cohen told the Wall Street Journal in a January 2017 interview, published in a profile of Cohen Thursday night. “It’s private between Mr. Trump and myself unless it’s made public because of a lawsuit or a news story.”
Cohen did not provide details, but his description gave the impression that he was kept very busy with his work for Trump before he took office. Cohen was known as Trump’s fixer and notable arranged a hush agreement with porn actress Stormy Daniels, paying her $130,000 in the fall of 2016 to keep silent about a past sexual encounter with Trump.
The President, however, tried to distance himself from Cohen on Thursday morning, now that his longtime attorney is under investigation for his business dealings. The President told “Fox and Friends” that Cohen managed “a tiny, tiny little fraction” of his legal work and that he has “many attorneys,” minimizing Cohen’s role on his legal team.
Before Trump took office in January 2017, Cohen was expecting a role in the White House, possibly as Trump’s chief of staff, but the offer never came, according to the Wall Street Journal. In the weeks leading up to the Inauguration, Cohen complained that he was still in the dark about a possible White House job, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Since Trump left for Washington, D.C., it seems Cohen felt left out. In a call with Trump in late 2017, he told his former boss that he missed him.
“Boss, I miss you so much,” Cohen told Trump, per the Wall Street Journal. “I wish I was down there with you. It’s really hard for me to be here.”
Read the Wall Street Journal’s full profile of Cohen here.