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Michael Cohen book details Trump’s racism and toxic family dynamic

Trump’s former lawyer publishes memoir Disloyal, prompting White House statement calling him a liar

Michael Cohen published his memoir of his time as Donald Trump’s fixer on Tuesday, greeted by a White House statement calling him a “disgraced felon and disbarred lawyer”, and a liar.

It was pointed out in return that Cohen was convicted of lying to Congress in order to protect Trump – himself a well-catalogued liar – over his links to Russia and payments to women which may have violated campaign finance law.

Cohen was also convicted of lying to a financial institution and tax fraud. He is still serving a three-year sentence, begun in a federal institution but now at home in New York because of the coronavirus.

Cohen beat official attempts to stop his book, and Disloyal was duly leaked, to be picked over by the Washington Post, the New York Times, CNN and the Associated Press.

Those reports revealed Cohen’s claims about Trump’s racism and hatred of Barack Obama; his admiration for Vladimir Putin and his business interests in Russia; his mutually beneficial relationship with the National Enquirer tabloid; and his brutal treatment of women, including a vulgar sexual remark about a 15-year-old he did not know was Cohen’s daughter.

Cohen also gave an interview to NBC, in which he called the president a “cult leader” who should resign, to receive a pardon from Mike Pence and thereby avoid criminal charges. He also said he thought Trump would “manipulate the ballots” or “start a war” in order to avoid losing the White House to Joe Biden in November.

“Donald Trump will do anything and everything within which to win. And I believe that includes manipulating the ballots,” Michael Cohen tells @LesterHoltNBC. pic.twitter.com/XtRjGivvKO — TODAY (@TODAYshow) September 8, 2020

But other stories are still emerging from the book. For example, Cohen piles on embarrassments for Donald Trump Jr, a top campaign surrogate for his father, offering further detail into what was included in testimony to Congress about the president’s brittle relationship with his oldest child.

Cohen describes Trump confronting his son over his fondness for trophy hunting, a hobby pursued with his brother Eric Trump to the fury of conservationists and delight of political opponents.

“‘What the fuck is wrong with you?’ Trump screamed at his namesake. ‘You think you’re a big man sitting on the rocks and then boom! You kill some fucking animal? Then you drag your brother into this bullshit? Why the fuck would you post photos like that? Get the fuck out of my office.'”

Donald Jr, Cohen writes, “left without a word, head downcast”.

The president’s distaste for his sons’ hunting was also detailed in Melania & Me, a recent tell-all by Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, a former aide and friend to the first lady. According to Wolkoff, the first lady’s lobbying was behind Trump changing his mind on reversing an Obama-era ban on importing big game…

Martin Pengelly

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