President Donald Trump suggested that people should no longer be able to cooperate with authorities in exchange for reduced sentences in light of his former lawyer Michael Cohen‘s guilty plea earlier this week.
The president made the claims during a wide-ranging interview with FOX & Friends, where he discussed Democrats potentially pursuing impeachment if they take control of Congress, pondered about pardoning Paul Manafort, and also gave himself a glowing grade for his time in office so far, saying it should be a defense against impeachment.
In the wake of Cohen’s guilty plea earlier this week—during which he implicated the president in a scheme to pay off adult film actresses and models to keep quiet about alleged affairs and admitted to campaign finance violations—the president tried to downplay his former lawyer’s importance and also wondered out loud about changing the way in which people can cooperate with authorities.
“People make up stories,” the president said. “This whole thing about ‘flipping’ they call it. I know all about flipping. For 30-40 years, I’ve been watching flippers. Everything is wonderful, then they get 10 years in jail, and they flip on whoever the next highest one is or as high as you can go.”
The president continued:
“It almost ought to be outlawed. It’s not fair because if somebody is gonna spend 5 years like Michael Cohen, or 10 years, or 15 years in jail because of the taxi cab industry because he defrauded some bank… but if you can say something bad about Donald Trump and you’ll go down to two years or three years, which is the deal he made. In all fairness to him, most people are going to do that. I’ve seen it many times, I’ve had many friends involved in this stuff—it’s called flipping and it almost ought to be illegal.”
Trump: I know all about flipping. It should almost be illegal. pic.twitter.com/jCZhwN7XxP— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) August 23, 2018
Trump also downplayed the importance of Cohen to him, saying he did “small deals,” and was “not somebody that was with me that much.”
When asked about the possibility of Democrats taking control of Congress after the 2018 midterms, the president didn’t seem too concerned with the possibility of being impeached because, in his eyes, his achievements as president could shield him from that.
“I guess it says something like ‘high crimes,’ and all,” the president said during part of a wide-ranging interview. “I don’t know how you can impeach somebody who’s done a great job.”
But if Democrats did move to impeach Trump, he predicted the economy would suffer as a result.
“I’ll tell you what, if I ever got impeached I think the market would crash. I think everybody would be very poor, because without this thinking… you would see numbers that you wouldn’t believe in reverse.”
The president also wasn’t humble about his time in office. When asked by Earhardt what he would grade himself for his time in office, Trump didn’t hesitate before saying he would give himself an A+.
“I give myself an A+. I don’t think any president has done what I’ve done in this short–we haven’t even been two years. Biggest tax cuts in history, soon to be two unbelievable Supreme Court justices, I’m sure that justice Kavanaugh will be approved, Justice Gorsuch has been a star. You look at all the things we’ve done with regulations, the economy is the best its ever been in history,” Trump said.