President Donald Trump reacted to his former personal attorney's Tuesday guilty plea, and told "Fox & Friends" host Ainsley Earhardt that what Michael Cohen did is called "flipping" — and it should perhaps be illegal.
What's the background?
On Tuesday, Cohen pleaded guilty to a series of eight federal charges — including campaign finance law, tax fraud, and bank fraud — in a New York federal court.
As part of Cohen's plea deal, he could face three to five years in prison, as well as a hefty fine.
Cohen was investigated after a referral to the U.S. Attorney's office for the Southern District of New York from special counsel Robert Mueller, who is heading up the investigation into Russia's alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election.
The FBI raided Cohen’s home, office, and hotel room in April, which led investigators to look into the lawyer's professional life and financial activity.
Cohen also purportedly paid porn star Stormy Daniels — whose real name is Stephanie Clifford — a sum of $130,000 as hush money after she claimed she had a previous sexual relationship with Trump in order to influence the 2016 election.
What did Trump say about his former lawyer 'flipping?'
In an exclusive interview with Earhardt on Thursday, Trump acknowledged his former personal attorney's guilty plea and expressed an apparent frustration over Cohen's legal woes.
After Cohen implicated Trump in a crime, the president said that "flipping" should perhaps be illegal for suspects, as he apparently believes that "flipping" leads people to make up stories in exchange for lesser sentences.
"You know," he said, "people make up stories."
"This whole thing about flipping, they call it, I know all about flipping," he added. "Thirty, 40 years I have been watching flippers. Everything is wonderful and then they get 10 years in jail and they flip on whoever the next highest one is or as high as you can go. It almost ought to be outlawed.
"It's not fair," the president continued, "because if somebody's going to give — spend five years, like Michael Cohen, or 10 or 15 years in jail because of a taxi cab industry, because he defrauded some bank, the last two were the tiny ones, you know, campaign violations are considered not a big deal, frankly."
"But," he countered," if somebody defrauded a bank, and he's going to get 10 years in jail or 20 years in jail, but if you can say something bad about Donald Trump, and you'll go down to two years or three years, which is the deal he made."
Trump concluded, "In all fairness to him, most people are going to do that ... they just make up lies."
You can watch Trump's interview in the video below.