Donald Trump on Michael Cohen: What a Difference 4 Months Makes

August 22, 2018, 3:22 PM UTC

It was something of a foregone conclusion that President Donald Trump would distance himself from Michael Cohen after his former attorney pleaded guilty Tuesday to eight criminal charges, including campaign finance violations.

Trump, in a Wednesday morning tweet, said “If anyone is looking for a good lawyer, I would strongly suggest that you don’t retain the services of Michael Cohen!” But the story was a whole lot different four months ago.

When The New York Times reported Cohen could cooperate with federal officials, Trump took to Twitter and defended his longtime (and, by then, former) personal attorney, while taking shots at the media outlet.

Cohen, he said, was “a fine person with a wonderful family” and, as a businessman, Trump said he had “always liked and respected” him.

Trump also expressed faith that Cohen would never “flip” on him.

“Most people will flip if the Government lets them out of trouble, even if it means lying or making up stories,” he said. “Sorry, I don’t see Michael doing that.”

By Wednesday morning, Trump’s remarks were nowhere near as supportive.

Cohen’s plea Tuesday marked the first time a Trump associate has seemingly implicated the president in a crime, though it remains to be seen if prosecutors will bring charges based on Cohen’s testimony.