(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump sought to distance himself from his embattled personal attorney, saying Michael Cohen handled a fraction of his legal work and a federal raid on his home and business had nothing to do with him.
“I don’t know his business, but this doesn’t have to do with me,” Trump said in a call-in interview with Fox’s program “Fox & Friends” on Thursday. "They’re looking into something having to to do with his business. I have nothing to do with his business.”
Cohen said Wednesday that he plans to assert his constitutional right against self-incrimination in a lawsuit by Stephanie Clifford, the adult film star known as Stormy Daniels, who claims she had an extramarital affair with Trump before he took office.
“I have many attorneys. Sadly, I have so many attorneys you wouldn’t even believe it,” Trump said, adding that Cohen handles only a “tiny, tiny little fraction” of his legal work.
The FBI raided Cohen’s home, hotel and offices this month as part of an investigation that included a $130,000 payment to Daniels ahead of the 2016 election to guarantee her silence.
“He represents me like with this crazy Stormy Daniels deal,” Trump said in the interview.
Trump said he had been informed that he’s not involved in the Cohen investigation, and he criticized the FBI for raiding Cohen’s office.
Lawyers for Trump, Cohen and the Trump Organization on Thursday will answer a federal judge’s questions about how they would go about quickly reviewing documents seized in the raid to determine which they will assert are protected by attorney-client privilege before they are given to investigators.
An attorney for Daniels, Michael Avenatti, thanked Fox News for the interview. He has welcomed Trump’s comments as bolstering his client’s case.
“Thank you @foxandfriends for having Mr. Trump on this morning to discuss Michael Cohen and our case,” Avenatti said on Twitter. “Very informative.”
“Mr. Trump and Mr. Cohen previously represented to the American people that Mr. Cohen acted on his own and Mr. Trump knew nothing about the agreement with my client, the $130k payment, etc.,” Avenatti said in another tweet Thursday. “As I predicted, that has now been shown to be completely false.”
Before serving as a personal lawyer to Trump, Cohen was executive vice president for the Trump Organization.
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