This New York Times piece about the relationship between Donald Trump and his longtime “fixer,” Michael Cohen is probably one of the saddest things ever.
It also has the ring of truth.
The piece discusses the uncomfortable position Cohen finds himself in, and the question of his loyalty. Will he flip on Trump?
Cohen has apparently said, in the past, that he’d take a bullet for Trump. He’s been with him for a long time, so a certain level of loyalty is expected, but that might be a bit nuts.
It’s especially nuts, when you consider that those who work for Trump consider that loyalty to be a one way street. Trump expects loyalty, but he’s not real big on extending that loyalty to anyone else, no matter what they do for him.
For years Mr. Trump treated Mr. Cohen poorly, with gratuitous insults, dismissive statements and, at least twice, threats of being fired, according to interviews with a half-dozen people familiar with their relationship.
“Donald goes out of his way to treat him like garbage,” said Roger J. Stone Jr., Mr. Trump’s informal and longest-serving political adviser, who, along with Mr. Cohen, was one of five people originally surrounding the president when he was considering a presidential campaign before 2016.
Trump reportedly called Cohen four days after the raid on his home and office, to “check in,” but has otherwise squeezed Cohen out of his life, since taking up residence in the White House.
I’m getting this image of Cohen as Glenn Close’s character, “Alex,” from “Fatal Attraction.”
Or of a doormat.
Mr. Stone recalled Mr. Trump saying of Mr. Cohen, “He owns some of the finest Trump real estate in the country — paid top dollar for it, too.” In Mr. Trump’s worldview, there are few insults more devastating than saying someone overpaid.
In a Fox News interview last year, Mr. Cohen declared: “I will do anything to protect Mr. Trump.’’ He told Vanity Fair in September that “I’m the guy who would take a bullet for the president,” adding, “I’d never walk away.”
Ok. That’s kind of embarrassing and over the top, in a really uncomfortable way.
“He clearly doesn’t think that Michael Cohen is his Roy Cohn,” said Tim O’Brien, a Trump biographer, referring to Mr. Trump’s former mentor and the president’s ideal for a pit bull-like defender. “I think his abusive behavior to Michael is animated by his feeling that Michael is inadequate.”
Then why keep him around?
Oh, yeah. Because he allows him to treat him like a chump.
Trump has certainly taken advantage of Cohen’s services.
Back before 2012, when Trump was considering a presidential run, Cohen went to Iowa, spoke with Republican operatives, set up a website to gauge the interest in having Trump run (ShouldTrumpRun.org).
Mr. Trump never ran in 2012, but Mr. Cohen raised $500,000 in four hours for the Mitt Romney presidential campaign that year during one of their “national call days” — and had campaign officials credit it as money that his boss had raised, one former Romney official recalled. When Mr. Trump ran for president in 2016, Mr. Cohen was given no official role on the campaign.
He fought with the initial campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski. Paul Manafort, the campaign chairman, later blocked him from coming on board. Mr. Trump never ordered his aides to make a place for Mr. Cohen.
A case of unrequited love?
Seriously, is anybody else squirming, yet?
Michael Cohen was a devoted toady, long suffering and underappreciated.
Particularly hurtful to Mr. Cohen was the way Mr. Trump lavished approval on Mr. Lewandowski in a way he never did for Mr. Cohen. When Mr. Cohen told Mr. Trump that he believed that Mr. Lewandowski had been behind a negative story about Mr. Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, Mr. Trump dismissed the comments as simple jealousy, and didn’t pay attention, according to two people familiar with the incident.
Mr. Cohen raised millions of dollars for Mr. Trump in the campaign, at a time when the candidate was struggling to attract support. Mr. Cohen tried to soften the edges as Mr. Trump faced a torrent of criticism for decades of racially divisive remarks, forming a “diversity coalition” to give Mr. Trump cover comprised of African-Americans, Muslims and other groups.
These stories are just the tip of the iceberg. They’re not even uncommon stories relating to the way Trump treats people. He’s just a scummy, hateful guy.
But now, things are different. Cohen has a wife and kids. If things go bad, will he put their well-being on the line to protect President Trump?
Some are suggesting that he’s looking at massive legal fees and possible jail time. If he can get a better deal by rolling on his tormentor, would he?
He’d be truly foolish not to.