Trump glares at reporter who asks if he will pardon Michael Cohen: 'Stupid question'

  • 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.

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Body language between Trump and Macron
French President Emmanuel Macron (L) looks on as U.S. President Donald Trump flicks a bit of dandruff off his jacket during their meeting in the Oval Office following the official arrival ceremony for Macron at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 24, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
U.S. President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron depart their joint news conference at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 24, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron hug during an arrival ceremony at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 24, 2018. REUTERS/Jim Bourg TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
US President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron hold a joint press conference at the White House in Washington, DC, on April 24, 2018. (Photo by ludovic MARIN / AFP) (Photo credit should read LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump (L) and French President Emmanuel Macron walk down the colonnade at the White House following the official arrival ceremony for Macron on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, U.S., April 24, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
US President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron shake hands during a joint press conference at the White House in Washington, DC, on April 24, 2018. (Photo by Ludovic MARIN / AFP) (Photo credit should read LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP/Getty Images)
French President Emmanuel Macron clasps hands with U.S. President Donald Trump at the conclusion of their joint news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., April 24, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
French President Emmanuel Macron shakes hands with U.S. President Donald Trump at the conclusion of their joint news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., April 24, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
French President Emmanuel Macron (L) and U.S. President Donald Trump embrace during the official arrival ceremony for Macron on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, U.S., April 24, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
WASHINGTON, D.C. - APRIL 24: President Donald Trump wipes something off the jacket of President Emmanuel Macron of France during a meeting April 24, 2018 in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chris Kleponis-Pool/Getty Images)
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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:

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."

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Michael Cohen, Stormy Daniels hush payment scandal
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Michael Cohen, Stormy Daniels hush payment scandal
Adult-film actress Stephanie Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels speaks to the media outside US Federal Court on April 16, 2018, in Lower Manhattan, New York. President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen has been under criminal investigation for months over his business dealings, and FBI agents last week raided his home, hotel room, office, a safety deposit box and seized two cellphones. Some of the documents reportedly relate to payments to porn star Stormy Daniels, who claims a one-night stand with Trump a decade ago, and ex Playboy model Karen McDougal who also claims an affair. / AFP PHOTO / HECTOR RETAMAL (Photo credit should read HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen arrives at federal court in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., April 16, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Segar
Michael Avenatti, lawyer for adult film actress Stephanie Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels, leaves federal court in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., April 16, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Michael Cohen's attorney Todd Harrison arrives at federal court in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., April 16, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Segar
U.S. President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen (centre) leaves federal court in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., April 16, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan Mcdermid
Adult film actress Stephanie Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels speaks to media along with lawyer Michael Avenatti (R) outside federal court in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., April 16, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Michael Cohen's attorney Todd Harrison is pictured outside the Manhattan Federal Court in New York City, New York, U.S., April 13, 2018. REUTERS/Jeenah Moon
U.S. President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen exits a hotel in New York City, U.S., April 11, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Adult film actress Stephanie Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels, speaks to media along with lawyer Michael Avenatti (R) outside federal court in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., April 16, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan Mcdermid
Attorney for Stormy Daniels, Michael Avenatti is pictured though a window as he arrives at federal court in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., April 16, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Adult-film actress Stormy Daniels and attorney Michael Avenatti arrive at Federal Court in New York, U.S., on Monday, April 16, 2018. Daniels claims she had sex with Donald Trump in 2006 and took a $130,000 hush payment shortly before the 2016 election from lawyer Michael Cohen. Photographer: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg via Getty Images
President Trumps lawyer Michael Cohen exits the US Federal Court on April 16, 2018, in Lower Manhattan, New York. President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen has been under criminal investigation for months over his business dealings, and FBI agents last week raided his home, hotel room, office, a safety deposit box and seized two cellphones. Some of the documents reportedly relate to payments to porn star Stormy Daniels, who claims a one-night stand with Trump a decade ago, and ex Playboy model Karen McDougal who also claims an affair. / AFP PHOTO / EDUARDO MUNOZ ALVAREZ (Photo credit should read EDUARDO MUNOZ ALVAREZ/AFP/Getty Images)
Adult-film actress Stephanie Clifford, (C) also known as Stormy Daniels arrives for a court hearing at the US Courthouse in New York on April 16, 2018. President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen has been under criminal investigation for months over his business dealings, and FBI agents last week raided his home, hotel room, office, a safety deposit box and seized two cellphones. / AFP PHOTO / Hector RETAMAL (Photo credit should read HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP/Getty Images)
Attorney for Stormy Daniels, Michael Avenatti(C), arrives for a court hearing at the US Courthouse in New York on April 16, 2018. President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen has been under criminal investigation for months over his business dealings, and FBI agents last week raided his home, hotel room, office, a safety deposit box and seized two cellphones. / AFP PHOTO / HECTOR RETAMAL (Photo credit should read HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 13: Michael Avenatti (R), attorney for Stormy Daniels, arrives for a court proceeding regarding the search warrants served on President Donald Trump's longtime personal attorney Michael Cohen, at the United States District Court Southern District of New York, April 13, 2018 in New York City. Cohen and his lawyers are asking the court to block Justice Department officials from reading documents and materials related to his relationship with President Donald Trump that they believe should be protected by attorney-client privilege. Officials with the FBI, armed with a search warrant, raided Cohen's office and two private residences earlier in the week. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
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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.'"

The president, who dined with Cohen at Mar-a-Lago in the weeks before the raids and phoned him in the days that followed to "check in," said his attorney was "a fine person with a wonderful family."

"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!"

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SEE ALSO: A former assistant US attorney explains why Michael Cohen is likely to flip — something Trump's allies seem to have conceded

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