President Donald Trump’s ex-fixer, Michael Cohen, told NBC News in an exclusive interview that he believes his former boss is a racist “cult leader” who would be wise to resign before he’s faced with potential criminal charges.
Cohen spoke with NBC News’ Lester Holt ahead of the release Tuesday of his new book, “Disloyal: a Memoir,” which discusses his experience working for Trump.
“In the book, obviously, I describe Mr. Trump as a cult leader, and I was in this cult,” Cohen said.
“So one of the purposes of writing the book is really from one former cult member to the current ones,” he continued. “I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again: Open your eyes as I have. And I want you to appreciate that Donald Trump cares for no one or anything other than himself.”
Watch more of NBC News’ interview with Cohen on Tuesday on “Nightly News with Lester Holt” at 6:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. CT.
Cohen said Trump’s backers have to defend his “indefensible” actions, mentioning The Atlantic’s report last week in which several sources with firsthand knowledge of Trump’s remarks said he referred to American service members killed in combat as “losers” and “suckers.” Trump has repeatedly denied the accuracy of the story, as have administration officials and allies.
“I mean, who could possibly accept this?” Cohen said of Trump’s reported remarks. “But when you’re in the Trump cult, you have no choice but to accept it.”
In the interview, Cohen mentioned several instances in which Trump made remarks that Cohen considered racist, one of them when he was driving with Trump through a predominantly Black Chicago neighborhood and Trump said, “Only the Blacks could live this way.”
After former South African President Nelson Mandela died in 2013, Cohen said, Trump “asked me if I had known of any country that’s run by a Black that’s not an s—hole.”
“And I said, ‘Well, how about America?'” Cohen responded. “To which he gave me the proverbial f-you.”
Cohen also spoke about Trump’s “hatred” for former President Barack Obama. Cohen said the disdain “basically starts and with the fact that he’s Black and that he was the first Black president in this country.”
And while Cohen said Trump worked to create the public perception that he was not bothered by Obama’s ribbing at the 2011 White House Correspondents’ Association dinner, Cohen revealed that the president was quite upset.
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