Let’s set aside the extremely high stakes and perilous nature of charging Trump on what most consider the least serious crime among the many which beg for accountability and simply breathe in for a moment the utter hilarity (and tragic comedy) in watching Trump respond to this particular situation, one that he cannot control. For a sociopathic narcissist who built an entire life, family, business, and political career where no one could question him and where he was in “total control,” watching Trump respond to losing control conjures up biblical, Shakespearean, or ancient Greek lessons on the rise and fall of a once “great” (just go with it for a second) man.

Trump is lashing about and, this morning, in ripping Michael Cohen, forgets that Michael Cohen was nothing more than the criminal “end” of Trump’s operation. In that respect, accusing Michael Cohen of a crime or even civil liability, it’s merely an extension of what Trump wanted. Trump hasn’t figured out that as he bury’s Cohen, he’s simply reiterating what he’s done wrong.

One can only appreciate it as it’s set out in Trump’s morning post:

In the history of our Country there cannot have been a more damaged or less credible witness at trial than fully disbarred lawyer and felon, Michael Cohen.

See? The entire reason that Cohen is “damaged,” “disbarred,” and a “felon,” is that he did what Trump asked of him! Indeed, Cohen only became credible when he turned on Trump and began testifying as to what he did, and why he did it. Moreover, Cohen has the receipts (almost literally) to prove that his testimony was corroborated. Indeed, Trump himself even seemed to corroborate Cohen’s story in the admission on Air Force One that he authorized the payment. Does Trump even realize that he’s about to be charged with the exact same crime that brought Cohen down?

No. Trump goes on to say:

The Southern District of New York (SDNY) wrote a scathing assessment of him, including, “Michael Cohen is a lawyer who, rather than setting an example of respect for the law, instead chose to break the law, repeatedly over many years & in a variety of ways…Each of his crimes involved deception,” & deception & lying is what he is doing here!

Yes! SDNY prosecuted Cohen (and couldn’t prosecute Trump as president because Barr said, “No, you cannot prosecute Trump as president, or even have the indictment waiting.” (As always, Trump had a “fixer,” only this time, it wasn’t Cohen, it was the Attorney General.) So, in a sense, SDNY’s characterization of Cohen springs directly from the fact that Cohen wouldn’t say “No” to Trump! And yet here, Trump is backing their opinion of Cohen.

What raises this to a Shakespearean level is something Jaime Raskin said in one of Cohen’s appearances before Congress, almost like the wise story-teller in the play:

So, as I said, Republicans weren’t upset because Michael Cohen had lied to Congress. They were upset because he stopped lying to Congress [about Trump] and he started telling the truth. And that is simply not consistent with the rules and the protocols of this organized crime family,

And now, here, we have Trump, holding out the SDNY description as deceptive, circumventing the law, all that – but only because Cohen STOPPED acting on Trump’s behalf as a good mob “fixer,” and instead turned state’s witness.

All of it is too much for Trump. The symmetry is too perfect, worthy of a play, a Greek tragedy, a King in a Shakespeare play, setting out a figure so narcissistic that he cannot tell that every single insult he thumbs into his phone is a comment about himself.


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  1. A pathological, malignant narcissist is incapable of recognizing or telling anything that resembles the truth. Expect everything BUT an admission of guilt.

    • Many of the most highly placed psychopaths are actually good at their jobs,,and would realize that being silent looks much better and it prevents you from being called out on tweets that can be used against you.

  2. Exactly, Jason. Trump thinks by slandering Cohen he is strengthening his case. But Cohen has confessed his guilt and paid the price. Every shot trump takes draws him closer to a convicted felon and emphasizes the need to apply the law at least equally to him. The other mistake trump makes is to assume his case rides on proving he had sex with Daniels. I think Bragg will show that the payments, whatever their purpose, were fraudulent and in violation of financial reporting and tax laws. If this thing goes to trial, as it should, we may be surprised by the scope of evidence and the severity of crimes trump is charged with.

  3. It’s always projection. DARVO (Deny – Attack – Reverse Victim and Offender) for 45. He will always be the victim – when he really is the offender. Whatever he says about someone else – that’s who he is. What, IMO, they’re trying to do is toxify the jury pool. They screwed up yesterday with Costello and his press verbiage. Grand jury didn’t buy his crap and didn’t call in Cohen for a rebuttal.

  4. A tragic figure has to have an element of nobility in his character. Because Trump has none, because he’s a total lowlife, I’ve always said that he cannot be a tragic figure. But you are starting to persuade me, Murph. Trump really is a great man — indeed the greatest man that ever lived — in his own mind and in the minds of his deluded followers. These delusions of grandeur shine out in everything he says and does, turning it all into parody. The “tragic” ironies you talk about are classic examples — the “man of noble soul” castigating people for doing the very things he told them to do. Trump is a walking parody of a human, and a flawed character, like every one of the seven deadly sins, is the goldmine of comedy. Instead of fearing Trump then, let’s appreciate the parody, and we will not be able to stop laughing at this cosmic moron and his moronic followers. And maybe it’s because I’m actually from New York, but one that really gets me is Ali Alexander threatening the New York City Police force. You gotta be kidding me.

  5. “All of it is too much for Trump. The symmetry is too perfect, worthy of a play, a Greek tragedy, a King in a Shakespeare play, setting out a figure so narcissistic that he cannot tell that every single insult he thumbs into his phone is a comment about himself.” Jason, this statement is an exquisite example of journalistic prowess! My hat is tipped to you! Keep up the good work!

  6. One word says it all: Hubris.
    A pride so great and overweening that even the Gods take notice and choose to destroy the prideful one.

    And it’s actually a comedy, not a tragedy. The difference between classical Greek comedy and tragedy is simple. In tragedy the protagonists die. In comedy they don’t. So the Odyssey is a comedy, even without a lot of laughs. Of course, in addition to being classic Greek comedy, this has plenty of laughs.

  7. It’s pretty clear to me that Tantrumthinskins emotional growth stopped when he was 8 or 9. He literally has the emotional intellect of an 8 or 9 year old. Every response is the response an 8 or 9 year old would have. He calls people names, makes fun of them, says they’re crazy (even the ‘best’ people that HE HIRED eventually get fed up & suddenly Trump says his judgement is poor that he hired a crazy deep stater. But his supporters, who also have ONLY the white grievance card to play don’t ever notice that that is Essentially what he says) lies about easily verifiable things or comes up with very ridiculous obvious lies. (Like the kid with chocolate all over his face in a righteous indignant rages reading he DIDN’T eat the chocolate. Someone is being mean and blaming him for something that isn’t his fault. He has the emotional equivalent to a child and thus, when under stress, behaves exactly like a child.


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