Trump’s two motives for election denial, according to Michael Cohen

Michael Cohen leaves federal court in the Manhattan borough of New York City (Reuters)
Michael Cohen leaves federal court in the Manhattan borough of New York City (Reuters)

Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen says that his ex-boss’ motives for continuing to contest the election come down to his ego and money.

“He knows he lost the election. He knows it. But the problem is he has an incredibly fragile ego and his fragile ego will not allow him to acknowledge that he is a loser, that he lost the election to Joe Biden,” Cohen told Vanity Fair in an interview published on Monday.

He added: “This is a cash grab. When you finish a job, you’re always thinking about how to reinvent yourself. That’s what Donald Trump is doing right now.”

The president continues to deny the results of November’s election despite recounts, numerous defeats in court, and a lack of any credible evidence to support his allegations.

His unfounded talk of a widespread conspiracy to rig the election against him has been disputed by many Republican election officials and senior party members, as well as his once stalwart supporters at Fox News.

On what might be next for Mr Trump, Cohen believes that post-presidency life will include, as predicted, a foray into the world of media.

“He knows that his next saga of his story is really going to be predicated around a Trump news network. It’s why he’s fighting with Fox every day,” Cohen said.

“He’s looking to steal their base. Because with his social media platform of 90 million followers, he knows that of that 90 million, 20 million are die-hard Trump fans.”

Those fans will pay, Cohen says, and that is how Mr Trump will fund his lifestyle.

“From them, he just wants $4.99 a month. And for that $4.99 a month, you get to listen to all the bulls*** and all the far-right-wing conspiracies that Donald Trump can dream up,” says Cohen. “That’s what he’s going to sell you. That’s $100m a month, $1.2bn a year. That’s going to pay for the gas in his [Boeing] 757.”

Cohen said in February 2019 that the president would not leave office peacefully if voted out — a prediction that appears to be accurate.

On the subject of issuing pardons to those around him before leaving office, Cohen also said that the first thing to cross Mr Trump’s mind will be what is in it for him and whether that person could in some way harm him in the future.

Mr Trump faces a number of legal challenges once he leaves office on 20 January. Pardons may help with federal cases, but state cases are not covered by presidential pardons.

Following a 2018 guilty plea, Cohen is currently serving the remainder of a three-year prison sentence at home due to the coronavirus pandemic. He was charged with lying to Congress and campaign finance violations.

He has ongoing legal action against the Trump Organisation, and as a former attorney for Mr Trump is confident he knows what their strategy will be.

“Know it? I f***ing wrote it.”

Cohen wrote a tell-all book about his time with the president and his family, and recorded an accompanying podcast in which he talks to other former Trump administration figures about their time in the White House.

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