Politics

Michael Cohen: four key revelations from new book by Donald Trump’s ex-lawyer


Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer accuses the president of being a “cheat, a liar, a fraud, a bully, a racist, a predator and a con man” in a scathing new book.

Michael Cohen’s “tawdrily readable” exposeDisloyal: A Memoir, offers a “bile-filled take on Trump and his minions”, The Guardian says.

The White House has denied a number of allegations made by Cohen, who was sentenced to three years in jail in 2018 after pleading guilty to tax evasion, lying to Congress and campaign finance violations. Here are four key takeaways from his tell-all memoir.

Racist outbursts

“As a rule, Trump expressed low opinions of all black folks, from music to culture and politics,” according to the new book by Cohen, who was released from prison in May amid concerns over the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus.

During an interview with NBC News last week, Cohen described a trip to Chicago during which Trump allegedly said that “only the blacks could live this way” while driving through a low-income neighbourhood of the city.

In his memoir, released yesterday, Cohen claims that Trump has “hatred and contempt” for former Chicago resident Barack Obama. And Trump is said to have disparaged late South African President Nelson Mandela following the civil rights hero’s death, in 2013.

“Mandela fucked the whole country up. Now it’s a shithole. Fuck Mandela. He was no leader,” the future president said, according to the book.

Trump also allegedly asked Cohen to “tell me one country run by a black person that isn’t a shithole. They are all complete fucking toilets.”

Mocks religion

Following a meeting with evangelical leaders at Trump Tower before his 2016 election win, Trump is alleged to have spent time “ridiculing their faith in crude terms”, The Independent reports.

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Tearing into what the newspaper describes as “one of his most loyal constituencies”, the then presidential candidate is said to have asked: “Can you believe that bullshit? Can you believe people believe that bullshit?”

Pointing to Trump’s public professions of Christian faith, Cohen writes: “The cosmic joke was that Trump convinced a vast swathe of working-class white folks in the Midwest that he cared about their well-being.

“The truth was that he couldn’t care less.”

Ogles women

Cohen alleges that Trump often makes inappropriate remarks about women, including minors, The Washington Post reports.

According to the memoir, during a trip to Trump’s New Jersey golf club in 2012, the future US leader unknowingly commented on Cohen’s then 15-year-old daughter, saying: “Look at that piece of ass. I would love some of that.”

On discovering that the girl was his lawyer’s child, Trump allegedly asked him: “When did she get so hot?”

The book “also describes the married Trump ogling contestants at his Miss Universe pageant and boasting he could ‘have all of them’ if he wanted”The Associated Press reports. 

In further allegations, Cohen claims to have seen his boss corner and forcibly kiss women in his office.

Big fan of Putin

Trump frequently expressed his admiration for Vladimir Putin, according to Cohen. As Business Insider notes, the ex-attorney speculates that there are two key reasons for this veneration of the Russian president: money and power.

Although the extent of Putin’s personal wealth is impossible to verify, Cohen claims that the US president considers his Russian counterpart to be “the richest man in the world by a multiple”. Trump allegedly also said that he admired Putin’s ability “to take over an entire nation and run it like it was his personal company – like the Trump Organization, in fact”.

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Cohen highlights a number of supposed similarities between Putin’s governance of Russia and Trump’s vision of his own leadership.

“Locking up your political enemies, criminalising dissent, terrifying or bankrupting the free press through libel lawsuits,” Cohen writes. “Trump’s all-encompassing vision wasn’t evident to me before he began to run for president.” 



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