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The comments were Mr Cohen's first significant remarks to a major media outlet since federal prosecutors in NY raided his home, office and hotel room in April.

But during the ABC interview with George Stephanopoulos, Mr Cohen said his "first priority" was his family.

Documents and files were seized from Cohen as part of an investigation stemming in part from a referral by the US special counsel office probing possible collusion between Russian Federation and Trump's 2016 presidential campaign. Stephanopoulos said, "You are facing the very real prospect of having to choose between protecting the President and protecting your family".

As Epner laid out, the thing Trump most "has to fear" is Cohen testifying against him.

Cohen told ABC that his decision to cooperate with federal investigators will be decided based on Petrillo's legal advice.

"He will do it to only when he has to-in order to save himself", Avenatti said. "He wouldn't have to do this complicated dance in the media".

Cohen said he hopes the interview would be a firs step in achieving a "resolution".

Mr Trump later told reporters Mr Cohen did a small fraction of his overall legal work.

(CNN) - Michael Cohen, who once famously asserted he would "take a bullet" to protect the President, has apparently reversed course - now that the gun is locked and loaded, so to speak.

President Trump said he will soon pick a nominee to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy from the same list of people he announced during his election campaign, and from which he chose his first justice, Neil Gorsuch.

Cohen did not respond to requests for comment Monday from The Washington Post.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders would not comment on whether the president was concerned about the possibility Cohen would strike a deal with prosecutors.

"I don't like the term witch hunt". When questioned about Trump's attacks on anyone involved in the various Russia-related investigations, Cohen also refrained from directly naming Trump when he criticized such characterizations.

He paid porn star Stormy Daniels $130,000 11 days before the 2016 presidential election to cover up an alleged fling with Trump in 2006.

"I will not be a punching bag as part of anyone's defense strategy", Cohen said.

If that happens, Cohen insisted that he will not allow himself to become a "villain" through Trump or his representatives.

Don Cheadle, Debra Messing, and Rob Reiner took to Twitter to claim the interview as a victory for the left, since Cohen hinted that he may be on the verge of flipping on Trump and cooperating with officials investigating the president.

The interview comes almost three months after the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided Cohen's office and home, after Mueller referred his case to the US District Attorney's office in NY. "If they want information on Trump, he's willing to give it".

Third, aside from any potential liabilities, Cohen surely has knowledge of Trump's finances - how rich he really is, how deep in debt he is, the identity of lenders, etc.

Prosecutors in NY obtained a search warrant after receiving a referral from special counsel Robert Mueller's team, the group handling the sweeping probe into Russian meddling in the election.

In the interview, Mr. Cohen praised the Federal Bureau of Investigation, despite describing the past year as "difficult, upsetting and unpleasant".

Ryan will be replaced by NY attorney Guy Petrillo, a veteran of the Manhattan federal prosecutor's office, who could open negotiations on Cohen's behalf with his former colleagues. Cohen responded, "I want to answer. I respect the process", he said. But in the ABC interview, he said he couldn't comment on advice of his lawyer.