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Trump: 'I never directed' former lawyer Michael Cohen to break the law

President Trump denies instructing lawyer Michael Cohen

PRESIDENT Donald Trump has said he "never directed" his former lawyer Michael Cohen to break the law.

Mr Trump's tweet comes a day after Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison for crimes including arranging hush money payments to conceal Mr Trump's alleged affairs.

Cohen and federal prosecutors have said the payments were made at Mr Trump's direction to influence the 2016 election.

Mr Trump tweeted that Cohen "was a lawyer and he is supposed to know the law. It is called 'advice of counsel', and a lawyer has great liability if a mistake is made".

Mr Trump asserted that "this was not campaign finance".

The president has gone from denying knowledge of the payments to saying they would have been private transactions that were not illegal.

Prosecutors have implicated Mr Trump in a crime but have not directly accused him of one.

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