Trump attorney Michael Cohen has long been assumed to be fanatically loyal to his boss — but a new report from the New York Times casts doubt on just how loyal Cohen would be if he came under legal pressure.
Six different sources tell the Times that Trump has been abusive to Cohen for years, despite the fact that Cohen has deep knowledge of the president’s personal and business life.
“Donald goes out of his way to treat him like garbage,” longtime Trump ally Roger Stone tells the publication.
Similarly, former Trump campaign official Sam Nunberg tells the Times that “whenever anyone complains to me about Trump screwing them over, my reflective response is that person has nothing to complain about compared to Michael.”
Among other things, Trump has in the past mocked Cohen for overpaying for Trump’s own real estate properties, and has also twice threatened to fire Cohen.
Trump biographer Tim O’Brien tells the Times that Trump’s abuse of Cohen stems from the fact that he has always wanted to have a fiercely loyal attorney like Roy Cohn who will aggressively and bluntly defend his interests in public. In Trump’s view, says O’Brien, Cohen’s work simply isn’t up to the standard set by Cohn, whom Trump counted as a mentor.
“I think his abusive behavior to Michael is animated by his feeling that Michael is inadequate,” he said.
For the past couple of weeks, there has been speculation that Cohen could flip on Trump if he were faced with the threat of doing serious jail time for whatever federal agents discovered in the recent raid on his office. This report on Trump’s treatment of Cohen is certain to add more fuel to that speculation.