July 28, 2015 9:19 PM EDT

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump distanced himself on Tuesday from his lawyer and top aide, Michael Cohen, who had sparked controversy for saying sexual intercourse with a spouse can never legally be considered rape.

“When I first saw [Cohen make the comments] I said, ‘Wow.’ You know it is something I disagree with. But that’s the way it is. He’s speaking for himself. He’s not speaking for me obviously,” Trump said in an interview with CNN on Tuesday.

Spousal rape has been against the law in all 50 states since the early 1990s.

Cohen apologized earlier Tuesday for his remarks, which were a response to a reporter’s question about a 1989 allegation against Trump that was later retracted.

“In my moment of shock and anger, I made an inarticulate comment — which I do not believe — and which I apologize for entirely,” he said.

“You have to understand Michael was extremely angry,” Trump said, echoing his special counsel’s apology. “Who knows what he said. … But assuming he said it, yeah, I disagree with that.”


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