President Donald Trump met with reporters during a bilateral meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday, and he didn’t take kindly to a reporter who tried to ask him about his personal attorney Michael Cohen.
During a brief appearance before the press, Trump and Macron answered questions about negotiations between their two countries on important foreign policy issues including Iran and North Korea, but ABC’s Jon Karl took the opportunity to ask the president about the controversy surrounding his administration.
Referring to mounting pressure on Cohen following an FBI raid on his office and residence, Karl asked Trump if he’d consider a pardon for his longtime personal attorney.
“Stupid question,” Trump spat back at Karl, while Macron looked amused at the sudden change in tone.
Check out Trump’s response to the question below:
Cohen has been the target of controversy after it was revealed that he paid adult film actress Stormy Daniels $130,000 in hush money after she alleged that she had an affair with Trump years before his presidential run.
But despite the pressure he faces in the midst of the Stormy Daniels controversy and as federal investigators prepare to look through documents taken in the raid, Cohen has yet to be charged with any crime.
Trump has consistently denied the allegations leveled by Daniels and praised Cohen’s loyalty. Since Cohen hasn’t been charged with any crime, the president obviously sees any consideration of a presidential pardon as preposterous.
On Monday, White House Legislative Affairs Director Marc Short backed up the president’s views by arguing that there’s “no need” to consider pardoning Cohen.
“There’s no need for that at this point. I think that the President, of course, all of us are frustrated. We’re very frustrated with the scope of the investigation and the way it’s dragged on,” Short said, referring the Russia investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller, who sent the case against Cohen to federal prosecutors in New York.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders declined to comment on a similar question posed to her on Monday, saying, “I don’t think that we are going to talk about hypotheticals that don’t exist right now.”
The pressure Cohen faces has led some to speculate that he may cooperate with investigators in order to avoid criminal charges. But as someone intimately familiar with Trump’s business dealings, Cohen’s cooperation could add more fuel to the Mueller investigation despite repeated calls from the White House for the probe to end quickly.