Savannah Behrmann USA TODAY
Published 8:34 PM EDT Sep 14, 2020
WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump’s former self-described fixer and personal attorney, Michael Cohen, claimed Trump’s disdain towards former President Barack Obama, the nation’s first African American president, was steeped in racism.
“He never was able to fully grasp how the country ended up voting for the very first Black president,” Cohen said while appearing on ABC’s “The View” on Monday.
He continued that the reason why Trump “despises” Obama “to the extent that he does, I believe it’s purely racial” while also citing Trump’s frustration with Obama’s ivy-league education.
He added later: “I believe it’s solely predicated on the fact that Barack Obama is Black.”
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Cohen has released a book about his former boss entitled: “Disloyal, a Memoir: The True Story of the Former Personal Attorney to President Donald J. Trump.”
In the new book, Cohen describes several instances where he says Trump was disparaging towards minority communities.
“This was when I started to witness the increasingly reactionary and unhinged Archie Bunker racism that defined Trump and his views on modern America,” Cohen writes about Trum
“I will never get the Hispanic vote,” Cohen quoted Trump as saying in his book. “Like the blacks, they’re too stupid to vote for Trump.”
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White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany has dismissed Cohen’s allegations.
“Michael Cohen is a disgraced felon and disbarred lawyer who lied to Congress. He has lost all credibility, and it’s unsurprising to see his latest attempt to profit off of lies,” she said.
Trump has pushed back against accusations of racism by claiming repeatedly that “nobody has done more for Black Americans than” he has.
Cohen also claims he even hired an Obama impersonator during the 2016 campaign so the former host of “The Apprentice” could “fire” the commander-in-chief.
“We even hired a Faux-Bama, or fake Obama, to record a video where Trump ritualistically belittled the first black president and then fired him, a kind of fantasy fulfillment that it was hard to imagine any adult would spend serious money living out,” Cohen penned.
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Trump’s contempt extended to Black foreign leaders, according to the book. Cohen quotes him as saying, “tell me one country run by a Black person that isn’t a shithole.”
This echoes what he said during a testimony before Congress in 2019, where Cohen repeated this claim, while adding then: “This was when Barack Obama was president of the United States.”
Cohen pleaded guilty in 2018 to lying to Congress about plans to build a Trump Tower in Russia and, in a separate case, to paying off an adult film star and a former Playboy model who said they had sexual affairs with Trump before he was elected.
He insisted he acted at the direction of Trump, who has denied both affairs. Cohen is serving the remainder of a three-year sentence in home confinement after he was released because of the coronavirus pandemic.
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Cohen was also pressed about a recent Vanity Fair article that alleges that Trump made sexually offensive comments about Cohen’s daughter, Samantha, who was 15-years-old at the time of the incident.
Co-host Joy Behar asked, “How could you let that slide?”
“I knew it was wrong. I would have never allowed anyone to speak about her that way… but I was part of the cult and there really was no wrong that he could do,” Cohen said.
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He was later pressed by co-host Meghan McCain on why the American public should trust him now, to which he claimed his actions were akin Stockholm Syndrome, or as he called it: “Trump Derangement Syndrome.”
“You need to look at what the lies were all about — they were for the benefit of Donald Trump,” replied Cohen. “My need to please him was greater than my ability to control my own moral compass.”
Contributing: David Jackson, Courtney Subramanian
Published 8:34 PM EDT Sep 14, 2020