Pulitzer Prize-winning Trump biographer David Cay Johnston on Thursday morning noted that the president has been paying women off for their silence for decades — and that his protests against being taped are likely phony.
Johnston told CNN’s John Berman that it came as no surprise to him that Trump’s former attorney and “fixer” Michael Cohen recorded their conversations because that’s standard practice in New York, where only one party is required to consent to a recording.
“Some lawyers may tape a client now and then to make sure they get their directions straight,” the biographer noted. “And the other reason is, this is insurance. If the boss is asking you to commit an illegal act and you have a tape of him, you have an insurance policy.”
Later in the interview, the longtime Trump biographer weighed in on the president’s unusually-friendly public appearance with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki earlier in July and said that it, too, was in keeping with his past business dealings.
“We know that Donald was suddenly flush with cash and buying assets and his sons, one of his sons has said, we were getting lots of money from Russians,” Johnston said, referencing the time in 2014 when Eric Trump reportedly bragged about getting millions from Russians to a golf reporter.
“We know of documented cases where he got money from Russians,” he continued. “We know Donald Trump has been doing business with Russian gangsters for years. And when I say Russians, I mean Russian-speaking people.”
Watch below, via CNN:
Trump’s ‘aberrant’ Omar excuse is the same ‘two-step’ he did when former Ku Klux Klan Grandwizard endorsed him: CNN contributor
On Thursday's edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," contributor Ron Brownstein reacted with outrage to President Donald Trump's attempts to disown his supporters' racist chants of "Send Her Back!" regarding Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) while at a rally in Greenville, North Carolina.
"Let me read a tweet that generated a lot of reaction, a tweet that you posted," said anchor Wolf Blitzer. "It goes like this. 'If 20 high school students chanted this at a classmate how many would be expelled? If 20 employees yelled this at a colleague how many would be fired? If 20 Army soldiers aimed this at a platoon mate how many would be discharged? How much of US will accept this as a new standard?' You got a lot of reaction from that."
CNN’s Jim Acosta on ‘Send Her Back’ chants: Trump is trying to ‘gaslight his way out of this mess’
On Thursday's edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta gave Wolf Blitzer a harsh assessment of President Donald Trump's attempts to disown the chants of "Send Her Back!" directed at Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) at his rally in North Carolina the previous day.
"President Trump is now gaslighting his way out of the mess he started with his racist tweets," said Acosta. "Today, the president claimed he tried to put a stop to the 'Send Her Back!' chants coming from his crowd in North Carolina last night, but that's not true. Unlike the president, the video doesn't lie."
Former House Speaker John Boehner thinks his Republican Party has ‘changed’
In a Thursday panel discussion on CNN, former House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) lamented that it seems his political party has changed a lot since he left office just four years ago.
When asked about Trump's racist tweets that attacked four Congresswomen of color, he said there isn't room for this in America.
"People can describe them any way they want, I don’t think there’s room in America, society for these kinds of chants, this kind of conversation, it doesn’t belong in our politics," Boehner said. "It’s reflective of how divided America has become. I was brought up it doesn’t cost anything to be nice. You can disagree without being disagreeable."