The man who once claimed it was his job to take a bullet for the president appears to have failed on a massive scale. Michael Cohen, in an interview with the bastion of modern progressivism, Vanity Fair, recounted several conversations he had with Donald Trump in which he claims the president used racially charged language.
But what to make of the interview? Are the accusations credible, or is Cohen – currently awaiting sentencing for a series of offences, including campaign finance violations – looking to bask in the fleeting love of the political left in the hopes of a modicum of leniency?
Among other allegations, Trump’s former lawyer accused his one-time friend and client of using shocking language whilst looking out at a rally crowd. Cohen says:
“I told Trump that the rally looked vanilla on television. Trump responded, ‘That’s because black people are too stupid to vote for me.’”
And on and on. Among other accusations, Cohen suggests that Trump was racially biased during the filming of his show The Apprentice. “Trump was explaining his back-and-forth about not picking [Kwame] Jackson,” as the winner of that season, Cohen explained. “He said, ‘There’s no way I can let this black f-g win.’”
This is where questions should – but won’t – be asked. Donald Trump has had black winners on his show; surely if he were opposed to allowing black contestants to win, we would never have seen the spectacular victory of the multi-talented Randal D. Pinkett?
Cohen, perhaps sensing the second question on everyone’s lips, was quick to point out that he did not denounce the president for his alleged racism earlier because “I truly thought the office would change him.” And then he expresses surprise that the role has “exacerbated” Trump’s rhetoric.
Has he even met President Trump?
The Donald has been a larger than life character for decades; could there be a single person alive who seriously believes that becoming president of the United States would “temper” his exuberance?
Vanity, Oh, Vanity
Vanity Fair’s role in this story is not to be ignored. It is of note that Michael Cohen would choose to unleash a potentially massively damaging attack against the president this close to an election cycle that many see as a referendum on the Trump presidency. Just two weeks earlier, VF released a puff-piece on Cohen suggesting that he is a reformed character who is “doubling down” on doing his civic duty.
From the rather schizophrenic story, it appears that doing one’s civic duty means little more than being a registered Democrat. It fails to highlight any particular “good deeds” the lawyer is engaging in to reclaim his lost morality. But perhaps information was never the purpose of the story in the first place.
Surely a respected lawyer of Cohen’s caliber and a magazine of Vanity Fair’s reputation would never agree to scratch each other’s backs? The idea that a publication of note would stoop to sway public opinion for the bite of a juicy, exclusive apple, is clearly in the realm of fiction. Isn’t it?