Michael Cohen sets up GoFundMe page for legal costs

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Donald Trump has suggested that cooperating with the government in a criminal case in exchange for a reduced sentence "almost ought to be illegal" while warning that impeaching him would cause an economic crash, in a TV interview on Thursday.

In a string of interviews early August 22, Cohen's own lawyer Lanny Davis took aim squarely at the president, dubbing him a "criminal".

Cohen has long denied any involvement in a collusion scheme and ever having been to Prague.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said this week that impeachment is "not a priority", and Sen.

"Had the verdict gone any other way, I might have been", Duncan said.

Trump said during the interview that he would give himself an "A+" if asked to grade his performance in office so far, citing his successful appointment of Justice Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court and predicting that Brett Kavanaugh, his next high court pick, will be confirmed as well.

The detail comes as several media outlets reported Thursday that federal prosecutors have granted immunity to National Enquirer chief David Pecker, potentially laying bare his efforts to protect his longtime friend Trump.

But the fact that he fielded an impeachment question during a press conference meant to be about his meeting with Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh signals the growing interest in the question.

Cohen has pleaded guilty to eight criminal charges, including campaign-finance violations, tax evasion and bank fraud at a federal court in Manhattan, New York.

But even as Trump accused Cohen of making up the hush money payments to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, he said in the same interview that he knew of the payments and also that he had made them.

And while he hasn't called for impeachment, that kind of rhetoric fuels demands from his base.

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A description on the GoFundMe page describes it as a "transparent trust account, with all donations going to help Michael Cohen and his family" as he goes forward with telling the truth about Trump.

Duncan also questioned the motives of prosecutors, repeating Trump's characterization that it was a "witch hunt". Fired former Federal Bureau of Investigation deputy director Andrew McCabe raked in more than US$500,000 in just five days of his legal defence campaign, and Daniels funded her lawsuit against the president with about US$500,000 raised from almost 17,000 donors.

Law professor Rick Hasen, who specializes in campaign finance law, said the Justice Department may have wanted to make the case public now "so people could evaluate it, for whatever it's worth, in deciding how to vote in the next election".

The official said Trump and his aides have grown accustomed to being smacked with bad news when they look up at the television - and their reactions are more muted than when Trump first took office.

Trump knew about these emails before they were released, and Cohen knew he knew, his lawyer Lanny Davis told CNN Wednesday.

The US president made the comments as his White House struggled to manage the fallout after his former lawyer Michael Cohen said Mr Trump directed a hush-money scheme to buy the silence of two women who say they had affairs with him.

The previous night, at a political rally in West Virginia, the president mostly ignored the legal developments and insisted that his administration was still "winning".

Why do it? Especially if they knew in advance the Senate would not convict.

On April 5, President Trump leaned into the press cabin on Air Force One and started answering questions.

In Indiana, Republican Mike Braun's campaign said Democratic Sen.

White House staff member Omarosa Manigault attends a US President Donald Trump news conference on February 16, 2017 in Washington, DC.