Speculation is running wild regarding whether Donald Trump’s former loyalist/fixer/lawyer is planning on turning on President Trump. Over the past two weeks a secret recording of Trump and Cohen surfaced and Cohen even claimed that Trump himself okayed the now infamous Trump Tower meeting.
As President Donald Trump absorbed the news that Michael Cohen, his former personal attorney and notorious “fixer,” had released a secret recording of the two of them, he did what he usually does in such situations: swore and groused loudly.
Two sources who have spoken to Trump about Cohen this week said the president was furious—hurling “expletives,” per one confidant—after CNN revealed Cohen had covertly recorded at least one of their conversations. On Tuesday, the cable network published audio, provided to it by Cohen’s attorney, of Trump and his former fixer discussing purchasing the rights to former Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal’s story alleging she had an affair with Trump.
Although the audio released seems quite meaningless to this point it is likely a veiled threat from Cohen showing that he likely has more.
After audio of the call surfaced, the president conveyed to those close to him that he felt betrayed by Cohen. He was particularly irate at being clandestinely recorded and that audio had found its way to, of all places, CNN, a frequent target of Trump’s tweets. Trump also vented his frustration that there are apparently other tapes out there, and that he doesn’t know exactly what could be on them, or when they’ll drop in the press.
This is obviously of major concern to Trump. Cohen was Trump’s right hand man when it came to fixing his problems. Due to this it is unclear what else he may have. Now, if all Cohen has is more adulterous actions by Trump then Cohen will be just another pawn used by the media and will likely find himself behind bars while Trump gets stronger. However, if Cohen had something regarding Russia then he might put Trump on the defensive.
In his two most recent tweets about his former lawyer, Trump has declined to write “Michael” or “Cohen,” as he has in other tweets about him this year. The slight is not by accident, according to multiple people who have known Trump for years. The president, they say, will often stop using people’s names if he’s convinced they’re turncoats, or if he suddenly finds them big enough “losers” not worth the attention.
“They’re dead to each other [now],” said another source close to the president who also knows Cohen.
Trump allies are already gaming out how to, in the words of one outside adviser to the president, “bury” Cohen.
Trump’s supposed treatment of Cohen also was outlined.
Several of Cohen’s associates have told The Daily Beast that Cohen—who for years publicly branded himself as the ultimate Trump loyalist—chose to publicize elements of his relationship with Trump once he realized that his loyalty would not be reciprocated.
Many were surprised it took him so long to realize this. The president passed over Cohen for a plum administration gig—Cohen had told friends he expected to be tapped as White House chief of staff—and displayed a nasty habit of making Cohen appear like a nuisance among peers.
Two sources with direct knowledge of Trump and Cohen’s relationship over the years tell The Daily Beast that during the 2016 presidential run, Cohen would often wander into rooms in Trump Tower where the GOP frontrunner and his senior advisers were having meetings on political strategy and other campaign-related matters. Cohen, according to these sources, would try to interject, only to have Trump tell him to leave and say they’d talk later. “Get out, Michael,” Trump ordered during one particular moment of annoyance.
The last aspect of the story that many aren’t talking about is Cohen’s other clients are going to be upset over the fact that Cohen privately recorded them as well.
Trump just retweeted a very important Michael Cohen tweet https://t.co/iQwFrXVrKL
— Jacob Palmieri (@jakepalmieri) July 29, 2018
Michael Cohen is a lying fraud https://t.co/87xmL0Robv
— Jacob Palmieri (@jakepalmieri) July 27, 2018