President Donald Trump was displeased with a reporter who asked him about whether he would pardon his longtime lawyer Michael Cohen, who is under criminal investigation.
Trump said ABC News White House correspondent Jonathan Karl's question was "stupid."
President Donald Trump was visibly displeased Tuesday when a reporter asked him whether he would consider pardoning his longtime lawyer Michael Cohen, who has yet to be charged with any crime.
"Stupid question," Trump said in response to ABC News White House correspondent Jonathan Karl, who asked the question during an Oval Office meeting between Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron.
Cohen's home, office, and hotel room were raided by the FBI earlier this month. He is under criminal investigation for possible campaign finance violations and bank fraud, and he has reportedly been a cause for worry in the White House in recent weeks.
People close to Trump keep suggesting that Cohen is likely to "flip" — or cooperate with the government by providing information on others in exchange for a lesser punishment.
Cohen and Trump have had a close relationship over the years. The lawyer has claimed intense loyalty to the president as a friend and adviser — once reportedly saying he would "take a bullet" for Trump — and handling sensitive matters for the president. That has included paying the adult-film star Stormy Daniels $130,000 days before the election to keep quiet about an affair she says she had with Trump.
Since the raid, the White House has moved to distance Trump from Cohen and has insisted that Cohen won't "flip" on Trump because he has no incriminating information on the president.
Watch Trump's response:
A reporter asked Trump if he would pardon Michael Cohen and he snapped back, "Stupid question."
LOOK AT MACRON'S FACE. pic.twitter.com/A9uKpQ3vb8
— David Mack (@davidmackau) April 24, 2018
One former assistant US attorney, however, told Business Insider why he thinks it's likely Cohen will flip.
"I don't know whether or not Michael Cohen is a tough guy," said Mitchell Epner, a former assistant US attorney for the District of New Jersey. "But when I hear things in the media like, 'How is this going to affect my family — I need to take care of them,' if he is actually asking those questions — if that's real and not fake — then it seems extraordinarily likely that he flips."
Over the weekend, Trump sought to push back on the assertion that Cohen will "flip," blasting a New York Times story on the subject.
Trump tweeted that The Times and its reporter Maggie Haberman were "going out of their way to destroy Michael Cohen and his relationship with me in the hope that he will 'flip.'"
"Michael is a businessman for his own account/lawyer who I have always liked & respected," he continued. "Most people will flip if the Government lets them out of trouble, even if it means lying or making up stories. Sorry, I don't see Michael doing that despite the horrible Witch Hunt and the dishonest media!"