The latest edition of the supermarket tabloid National Enquirer headlines a story on “Trump Fixer’s Secrets and Lies.” That may seem unusual for a publication that’s owned by one of Donald Trump’s close friends and whose role in the election was not just to run stories denigrating Hillary Clinton, but spike any story that threatened Trump. But the Enquirer cover, which also features a headline claiming Trump “passed a polygraph,” doesn’t signal any change in the rag’s pro-Trump stance. It appears to be a shot across the bow of Michael Cohen.
A National Enquirer cover story targeting Michael Cohen could be a strong sign President Donald Trump is upset with his personal lawyer and turning against the man known for years as his “fixer,” a source close to Trump said.
Both observers—and Cohen—apparently believe that the story would not have appeared without Donald Trump giving it the thumb’s up.
When asked whether he thought a message was being sent by the story’s publication, Cohen told CNN: “What do you think.”
But this wasn’t the only unpleasant message to land on Cohen’s doorstep this week.
Michael Cohen, already under pressure from a federal criminal investigation into his business and financial dealings, has been hit this month with more than $185,000 in new state warrants for unpaid taxes on his taxicab companies.
Added to his previous tab, that brings the total to $282,000 owed to New York state …
Turned out by Trump and hurting for cash … what is it that makes Trump think that Cohen won’t flip?
The raid on Cohen’s home and business may have seemed sudden, but they followed months of investigation into his businesses.
Cohen’s taxi business had been hurting in recent years, with Uber, Lyft, and similar apps eating into his margins.
Ride-hailing is dominant even in such traditional taxi strongholds as Chicago and New York, both cities where Cohen has a significant presence in the taxi industry. The ubiquitous yellow cab may not quite be riding into the sunset, but even in these markets, ride-hailing accounted for nearly 75% of all business traveler ground transport expenses in Q1 2018. So it’s no wonder that thousands of New York taxicab owners are now “upside down,” as the value of their medallions (the license needed to operate a taxi) has dropped to about $163,000 from more than $1 million over the past four years, amid ridesharing’s irresistible rise.
Add to that Cohen’s growing tax bill, and his taxi business doesn’t look like it’s going to provide the funds to pay for his legal bills should Donald Trump stop funding Cohen through his campaign fund.
Those tax bills also reveal the names of Cohen’s taxi companies, which include “Mad Dog Cab” and “Golden Child Cab.” Anyone we know? Cohen’s transportation empire also features “Smoochie Cab,” which seems a bit on-the-nose for someone whose other business is dealing with porn stars.