It is not going to surprise anybody who has been following Donald Trump for longer than five minutes that while the appearance of a bromance between himself and Michael Cohen may appear to be the case, the truth of the matter is that Trump has been playing Cohen and using him, starting with dangling the carrot of a job in the White House. Wall Street Journal:
In the months before the election, when Mr. Trump reshuffled his campaign for a third time and named Steve Bannon as campaign chief, Mr. Cohen told associates he had expected to be tapped for the role, according to people familiar with the matter. He also told people at the time he expected to be named White House chief of staff, people familiar with the matter said.
Mr. Trump decided that bringing Mr. Cohen inside the White House carried too many risks, according to people familiar with the discussions. Mr. Trump privately has described Mr. Cohen as a “bull in a china shop,” who when brought in to fix a problem sometimes breaks more china, according to a person close to the president.
When that didn’t materialize, Cohen agreed to Plan B, which was to be Trump’s consigliere, his major domo top gun lawyer — or so it was thought until Trump directly contradicted Cohen yesterday on Fox News:
In the Jan. 5, 2017, interview, Mr. Cohen said: “Let’s just say I have no shortage of work. It encompasses all aspects of his life from his business to the personal,” adding: “It’s private between Mr. Trump and myself unless it’s made public because of a lawsuit or a news story.”
Mr. Trump said Thursday on Fox News that Mr. Cohen has done “a tiny, tiny little fraction” of his legal work, including “this crazy Stormy Daniels deal he represented me on.”
The “crazy deal” Cohen handled for Trump involved fronting the money to Stormy Daniels with the expectation of being reimbursed. Cohen missed two deadlines to pay the money because ostensibly he couldn’t reach Trump in the last days of the campaign and finally he just paid it out of his own pocket on October 27, 2016, a mere 12 days before the election. Cohen expected the money back but Trump stiffed him, just like he does everybody, pushing even loyal-dog Cohen to despair.
Privately, Mr. Cohen already had begun complaining to associates, both about being left in New York and about Mr. Trump’s then-failure to repay him for the $130,000 he had drawn off his home-equity line to pay Ms. Clifford, people familiar with the matter say.
Mr. Cohen even was contemplating “defecting” from Mr. Trump, according to a person familiar with these conversations. Mr. Cohen stopped complaining about Mr. Trump not repaying him around mid-2017, according to another person familiar with the situation. Mr. Cohen has said he wasn’t repaid by the Trump Organization or Mr. Trump’s campaign, but has declined to answer questions about whether Mr. Trump himself repaid him.
Trump is a creature of habit, bad habit, and it’s highly unlikely he broke form and paid Cohen. He doesn’t pay anybody. More probable is that Trump made Cohen some fantasy offer of either a governmental post or some private endeavor for the Trump Organization, of which Cohen is Executive Vice President, which would benefit Cohen “hugely” and way above a paltry $130K.
Cohen’s been dealing with Trump’s pie in the sky for a long time and now he’s got to deal with the pie on the table, the FBI raid, and it might have a more bitter and lingering taste than Cohen has been expecting.