Michael Cohen famously said he would “take a bullet” for Donald Trump and there are a lot of people in Trump’s inner circle who would be just fine with that, apparently. Jarvanka never liked Cohen and prevented him from getting a post at the White House, neither Steve Bannon nor Kellyanne Conway were ever on his side and Roger Stone dismisses him as a wannabe. The Daily Beast:
“Michael Cohen wanted very much to be in politics,” said Roger Stone, a Trump ally and informal adviser, in an appearance on Meet the Press on Sunday. “He wanted to be in the campaign. He wanted to be in the administration. He has not achieved any of those things. I don’t think the president regarded him as a political genius or was open to his desires in that area. And he had a tendency to discount any political advice that Michael would give him.”
It’s not the least bit surprising that Stone would dismiss Cohen’s activities, especially in light of how high profile it turns out that he was in Trump Russia. Be that as it may, Stone is not the only one taking this tack.
Numerous other Trump associates, veterans of the 2016 campaign or presidential transition, and White House surrogates said they’re avoiding any phone contact with Cohen out of concern that his line might be tapped, and that direct interaction could involve them in the scandal that has enveloped Cohen and the influence-peddling operation he set up in the wake of Trump’s election victory.
The feds, Trump allies say, are treating Cohen as if he were a sketchy mafia lawyer. The White House wants nothing to do with him, and begrudges him for imperiling the Trump presidency with his antics (whether sanctioned by Trump or not). The president remains privately skeptical that his loyalist pit bull won’t end up snitching on him under a threat of serious jail time.
Even Sean Hannity, the president’s most vocal cable news advocate, has mostly ignored Cohen since the controversy has evolved from one implicating Trump in potentially illicit payments to Daniels to one more directly related to Cohen’s influence-peddling schemes. Hannity, who devoted a monologue on May 4 to defending Trump from criticism surrounding the Daniels payment, has not directly weighed in on his Fox News show on any subsequent development in the Cohen controversy.
One faction that has not turned Cohen away, not surprisingly, is the Republican National Committee, where he remains a member of their finance leadership team. They don’t seem to care how the money is gotten, or from whom, Russian oligarchs included, just so long as it is.
Michael Cohen doesn’t seem to have a whole lot of incentive to remain loyal to Trump. It will be interesting to see what unfolds this summer before Mueller has to put the Trump Russia probe on hold for the November elections.