Michael Avenatti Says Michael Cohen is ‘Dumb’ and ‘Trying to Play Both Sides’ in ABC Interview with Stephanopoulos

The former “fixer” for President Donald Trump, Michael Cohen, made a poor move in granting ABC News an off-camera interview and was attempting to “play games” and to “play both sides,” according to attorney Michael Avenatti.

Avenatti, who represents adult film star Stormy Daniels in her case against Cohen, was referring to the interview anchor George Stephanopoulos conducted with the embattled Cohen that was released Monday morning.

“If Mr. Cohen really gave an ‘off camera’ interview to @GStephanopoulos (whom I respect) for @GMA, he is dumber than I thought. He is playing games & trying to play both sides. There is only one way he can have any legitimate shot at saving his reputation... #TickTock #Basta,” Avenatti tweeted.

Avenatti has frequently taken shots at Cohen and claimed the president’s former personal attorney was potentially facing serious charges over his business and work for Trump. And Avenatti has stated he believed Cohen would eventually flip on the president in order to avoid jail time.

Cohen’s interview with Stephanopoulos is likely to fuel speculation about Cohen’s remaining loyalty to Trump, who he has said he would take a “bullet” for and would stay loyal no matter what.

Stephanopoulos said he spent 45 minutes speaking with Cohen on Saturday, and Cohen’s apparent loyalty to the president might be wavering based on his statements and responses.

Cohen defended the FBI, unlike the president’s frequent attacks against investigators, and also said he put his family and the “country” above all else. Cohen’s residence, office and hotel room were raided by federal officials in April, and he’s currently under investigation for his business practices as well as potential campaign finance law violations.

“My wife, my daughter and my son have my first loyalty and always will,” Cohen said. “I put family and country first.”

Cohen, who worked for Trump for roughly a decade, also stated that he would be a “punching bag” when asked if he was worried the president or his supporters would attempt to defame Cohen in order to downplay his closeness to or his work for the president.

“I will not be a punching bag as part of anyone’s defense strategy,” Cohen said. “I am not a villain of this story, and I will not allow others to try to depict me that way.”

Cohen also opted not to directly answer a question about whether or not Trump knew about the payment made to Daniels prior to the 2016 election. The president previously denied having any knowledge of the payment at all, but one of his current attorneys, Rudy Giuliani, claimed Trump had paid Cohen back the $130,000 and more.

“I want to answer. One day I will answer,” Cohen said when asked about the payment and if Trump knew. “But for now, I can’t comment further on advice of my counsel.”

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