Michael Cohen, former personal attorney to Donald Trump, released a tell-all book on Sept. 8, 2020 that details his tenure with the president. In the memoir, titled Disloyal, Trump’s self-styled “fixer” paints a scathing picture of his old boss.
Keep in mind, Cohen’s reputation comes with its own baggage. He pleaded guilty in 2018 “to nine counts of federal crimes,” including lying to Congress, tax evasion, and violations of campaign-finance laws. According to Cohen, those crimes were committed at Trump’s behest to help win the 2016 presidential election. Cohen said he “was ‘more than willing to lie, cheat, and bully’ to help his long-time boss win the White House,” per CNN, but his allegiance has since shifted. Cohen is now vehemently against Trump, calling him “a cheat, a liar, a fraud, a bully, a racist, a predator, a con man,” according to the memoir’s website.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the alleged allegations Cohen lobs against Trump in Disloyal.
Michael Cohen says he buried Donald Trump's 'skeletons'
Michael Cohen’s memoir, Disloyal, plays up his role as some sort of Donald Trump insider-turned-whistle-blower. “I know where the skeletons are buried because I was the one who buried them,” Cohen says on the official website for his memoir.
One of the many controversial topics Cohen raises in the book is his former boss’ alleged obsession with his predecessor, President Barack Obama. In the book, Cohen claims “Trump hired a ‘Faux-Bama’ to participate in a video in which Trump ‘ritualistically belittled the first black president and then fired him,'” per CNN. Cohen reportedly doesn’t name the actor or the date of this video, but the book does include a photo of the supposed incident. According to The New York Times, “The video Mr. Cohen describes appears to be a recording that was supposed to be shown the first night of the Republican National Convention in 2012, when Mr. Trump had endorsed the party’s presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, and insisted on having time during the programming.”
But Obama isn’t the only world leader Trump has supposedly mocked and belittled.
Michael Cohen claims Donald Trump disparaged world leaders
According to Michael Cohen’s memoir, Disloyal, President Donald Trump openly disparaged multiple world leaders. The president’s longtime personal attorney relayed this alleged quote by his former boss (per CNN): “Tell me one country run by a black person that isn’t a sh*thole … They are all complete f**king toilets.” After world-renowned human rights activist Nelson Mandela, the former President of South Africa, died in December 2013, Trump allegedly said: “Mandela f**ked the whole country up. Now it’s a s**thole. F**k Mandela. He was no leader.”
In contrast, Cohen asserts that Trump deeply admires Russian President Vladimir V. Putin, particularly Putin’s reported ability to utilize his own country as a “personal business” and to exercise unilateral control over the press and financial institutions. Cohen also addressed the topic of Trump’s alleged collusion with Russia to win the 2016 presidential election, arguing that he does not believe the campaign was organized enough to orchestrate that kind of collaboration. “What appeared to be collusion was really a confluence of shared interests in harming Hillary Clinton in any way possible, up to and including interfering in the American election — a subject that caused Trump precisely zero unease,” Cohen said (per CNN).
That’s a lot of dirt piled on the president. What has the White House said in response to Cohen’s scathing book?
The White House says Michael Cohen lacks credibility
The White House gave a brief response to Michael Cohen’s Disloyal memoir. Citing Cohen’s criminal record, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany (pictured) seemed to shrug off the book’s allegations in favor of painting its author as an unreliable narrator. “Michael Cohen is a disgraced felon and disbarred lawyer who lied to Congress,” she said in a statement (via The New York Times). “He has lost all credibility, and it’s unsurprising to see his latest attempt to profit off of lies.”
White House Deputy Press Secretary Brian Morgenstern also decried Disloyal: “Michael Cohen’s book is fan fiction,” he said (per CNN). “He readily admits to lying routinely but expects people to believe him now so that he can make money from book sales. It’s unfortunate that the media is exploiting this sad and desperate man to attack President Trump.”
One thing is clear: Michael Cohen and Donald Trump are confidants-turned-enemies. Which man — if either — should you believe today? We’ll leave that to you to decide.
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