Donald Trump apparently made a habit of denigrating and shaming his longtime fixer and lawyer Michael Cohen. In fact, Trump’s constant slights and jabs seemed to be his abusive way of relating to Cohen.
But now that Cohen holds Trump’s fate in his hands, Trump allies are conjecturing that Cohen—who once bragged he would “take a bullet” for his boss—might just flip the script on Trump. The New York Times writes:
“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.
“Ironically, Michael now holds the leverage over Trump,” said Sam Nunberg, a former aide to Mr. Trump who worked with Mr. Cohen and Mr. Stone. […]Mr. Nunberg added that “whenever anyone complains to me about Trump screwing them over, my reflective response is that person has nothing to complain about compared to Michael.”
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. […]
Over the years, Mr. Trump threatened to fire Mr. Cohen over deals that didn’t work out, or snafus with business projects, people who were present for the discussions said. He was aware that Mr. Cohen benefited in other business projects as being seen as affiliated with the Trump Organization, and it irked him.
Could Trump possibly be a worse person? Also, you reap what you sow. Trump’s routine disparagement of Cohen was likely exactly why Cohen made recordings of his calls—so he could play them back to earn points with the bossman and cover his own butt at the same time.
Well, congrats, Trump! Because those recordings might just ruin your presidency, devastate your personal business, and perhaps even earn you a trip to jail some day. In fact, all of those prospects are likely what led Trump to add Rudy Giuliani to his legal team this week, according to Harvard professor Alan Dershowitz.
“I think this does send a powerful message to Michael Cohen,” he told MSNBC. “The message is, ‘Hey, stay strong, we have a really good lawyer in our team, on our team, to focus on the Southern District of New York where your problems are.’ So I think it was a very, very smart move.”
Perhaps. Or maybe Cohen will decide for his own sake and the sake of his family that it’s high time Trump got his just deserts.
(The one caveat to the NYT story quoted above is that Roger Stone and his mentee Sam Nunberg must have some self-interest in pushing the narrative they’re pushing above. I’m honestly a little unclear what it is, but certainly people could weigh in below.)