Cohen says he won’t be a ‘punching bag’ for Trump anymore
President Trump’s former longtime attorney Michael Cohen resents the president’s use of him as a “punching bag” and has hit a “reset button” on his relationship with both the president and the media, his attorney said Wednesday.
“He had to hit a reset button,” Lanny Davis, who is representing Cohen as he defends himself from an investigation into possible bank fraud and campaign finance violations, told The Washington Post. Davis is a columnist for The Hill.
“He had to say he respected the FBI. He had to say he believed the intelligence agencies that Russia meddled in the election,” he continued. “He had to describe the Trump Tower meeting as extremely poor judgment at best. And, ultimately, he said, ‘I’m not going to be a punching bag anymore,’ which he had been when he said, ‘I’ll take a bullet.’ ”
Investigators uncovered more than 100 recordings made by Cohen, including one obtained by CNN that contained a conversation between the two men detailing payments to an ex-Playboy model who claims an affair with the president.
“Michael Cohen had the habit of using his phone to record conversations instead of taking notes,” Davis told the Post. “He never intended to make use of the recordings and certainly didn’t intend to be deceptive.”
MSNBC host the Rev. Al Sharpton, who recently shared a meal with Cohen, told the Post that Cohen has completely abandoned his former boss.
“He’s totally turned on him,” Sharpton told the newspaper. “It was clear to me in our conversation that Michael felt betrayed. He kept saying, ‘I’m going to do what’s right for my country.’ He clearly wanted me to know he was not Team Trump anymore.”
“He was hurt, and the hurt has turned into bitterness. He said, ‘Look at what I’m going through. Why me? Nobody is helping me,’ ” Sharpton added.
Cohen, who ended his longtime relationship with the president this year, has not been charged with a crime but had his home and offices raided earlier this year by federal investigators working on a referral from Robert Mueller’s special counsel office. He denies any wrongdoing.