Michael Cohen knocks Trump amid house arrest: He’d ‘start a war’ to stay in office
President Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen said he believes Trump will “do anything and everything” to win reelection and “even go so far as to start a war” to remain in the White House.
Cohen was asked by NBC News’s Lester Holt in an interview excerpt released Friday whether he thought his former boss will win a second term in November.
“Donald Trump will do anything and everything within which to win. And I believe that includes manipulating the ballots,” Cohen responded.
“I believe that he would even go so far as to start a war in order to prevent himself from being removed from office,” Cohen continued. “My biggest fear is that there will not be a peaceful transition of power in 2020.”
— NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt (@NBCNightlyNews) September 4, 2020
Cohen served as Trump’s personal lawyer and self-described fixer for several years.
His tell-all memoir, titled “Disloyal: The True Story of Michael Cohen, Former Personal Attorney to President Donald J. Trump,” is set to be released next week. According to a recently released excerpt, Cohen accuses the president of fraud and corruption in the book.
The White House labeled the book as “fan fiction” in a statement released last month.
“He readily admits to lying routinely but expects people to believe him now so that he can make money from book sales,” White House spokesman Brian Morgenstern said in the statement. “It’s unfortunate that the media is exploiting this sad and desperate man to attack President Trump.”
Cohen pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations in 2018 and turned on Trump amid his legal ordeal, testifying before Congress and accusing the president of ordering him to make payments to two women who claimed they had affairs with Trump.
The former Trump lawyer was released to home confinement in May due to concerns about the coronavirus pandemic but was suddenly sent back to prison on July 9 due to a dispute with corrections officials over the terms of his release.
With the help of the American Civil Liberties Union, Cohen sued for his release from prison last month, arguing that the government was retaliating against him for planning to publish his book.
His lawyer said last month that Cohen has been offered a job at an unspecified political action committee to work as a consultant and to make media appearances.
Cohen is not the only one who has expressed concern about how Trump might handle a potential loss to Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
Biden said in June that he was “absolutely convinced” the military will have to escort Trump from the White House if the incumbent loses.
Trump’s 2016 opponent Hillary Clinton also said last month that she believes Trump will not “go silently into the night” if Biden wins.
“I don’t want to scare people, but I want you to be prepared. I have every reason to believe that Trump is not going to go, you know, silently into the night if he loses. He’s going to try to confuse us. He’s going to try to bring all kinds of lawsuits. He’s got his crony, Attorney General [William] Barr, ready to do whatever is necessary,” Clinton said.
Trump said in July that he’ll “have to see” about accepting the results of the election. He again attacked mail-in voting, saying without evidence that he thinks the process “will rig” the November race.