Friday, March 01, 2019


The president thinks he's caught Michael Cohen in a lie:
President Donald Trump on Friday launched a new line of attack on his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, demanding that Congress obtain a manuscript of Cohen’s scrapped book about his relationship with Trump.

In a series of morning tweets, the president alleged that the manuscript would show his former personal lawyer and fixer lied to Congress this week....
Trump tweeted:

In his congressional testimony on Wednseday, Cohen said he began to be disillusioned with Trump after witnessing Trump's reaction to the Charlottesville neo-Nazi march in August 2017 and Trump's coziness with Vladimir Putin at the summit meeting in Helsinki in July 2018. Cohen shopped around his book proposal in early 2018 -- before Helsinki, but after Charlottesville.

The proposal was very favorable to Trump, as a Daily Mail report makes clear:
'Everything he wanted to say about Trump was positive,' added [an] executive who discussed the deal with Cohen.

'Even in our meeting he was glowing with praise for the president.'

... He started his proposal with a list of unflattering barbs that have been thrown at Trump since he became Commander-in-Chief. 'Crazy'; 'Dumb'; 'Paranoid'; 'In Over His Head'; 'Liar'; 'Addicted to TV'; 'Hates the Media'.

'All of these things have been said about my longtime boss, Donald J. Trump,' Cohen added. 'None of it is true. Except maybe that last one – about the media. Trump does believe that reporters are out to get him, and for a very good reason. Many of them are.

'That doesn't make him paranoid,' wrote Cohen. 'That makes him a realist.'
But we already knew that from a February 2018 Daily Beast story:
Cohen ... explains away Trump’s erratic tendencies, saying the president is just a wily strategist who pretends to be crazy to create “an incredibly effective smoke machine,” fooling even formerly close allies like ousted White House chief strategist Steve Bannon.

“There truly is a method to his madness, to quote that old saw, and people who think otherwise can quickly get buried,” Cohen said. “Steve Bannon comes to mind, but there are plenty of others who are now six-feet under due to this basic miscalculation. I’ll also be talking about this in some detail.”
But when exactly was this proposal submitted? The Mail story tells us:
Cohen wrote his proposal on January 24, 2018, less than three weeks after the publication of the first critical book about the Trump presidency, Michael Wolff's 'Fire And Fury,' which claimed the White House was a chaotic place where '100% of the people around him' believe Trump is unfit for office.
There was quite a bit of money in it for Cohen if the book was published, and the Beast story says that "a good amount of the book [would] be dedicated to Cohen’s own personal gripes about his interactions with the media" -- but if Cohen had a pro-Trump book proposal ready to go weeks after the publication of the first book to truly damage the Trump presidency -- remember, Cohen was still Trump's lawyer at the time, and would be until May 2018 -- then the proposal was, at least in part, an effort by Cohen to be a fixer for Trump in print. He was doing damage control. He was on the clock for Trump.

Center Street, a division of Hachette that publishes a lot of conservative books (Michael Savage, Jeanine Pirro, Steve Scalise, Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie), dumped the Cohen book in May 2018, just about the time Trump cut Cohen loose. There was probably no manuscript at the time, though portions might have existed in draft form. But we can't expect anything Cohen may have written then to be the truth because Trump was still his boss. Cohen was still a professional liar for Trump.

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