Cohen compares Trump to cult leader

President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden says voters should choose who nominates Supreme Court justice Trump, Biden will not shake hands at first debate due to COVID-19 Pelosi: Trump Supreme Court pick 'threatens' Affordable Care Act MORE’s former personal attorney, Michael CohenMichael Dean CohenAppeals court appears skeptical of Trump's latest argument against tax returns subpoena Judge orders Eric Trump to comply with New York AG's subpoena before Election Day A huge deal for campaign disclosure: Trump's tax records for Biden's medical records MORE, compared the president to a cult leader in an interview with NBC set to air Tuesday evening.

“I describe Mr. Trump as a cult leader, and I was in this cult,” Cohen, referring to his book, “Disloyal,” told NBC’s Lester Holt.

“While I was in the cult, I was really refusing to acknowledge that the actions I was performing for my boss were morally wrong,” Cohen added.


Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison for tax evasion and campaign finance violations in 2018. He was released into house arrest due to the coronavirus pandemic, before being rearrested. He filed a lawsuit arguing his return to prison was an attempt to prevent him from releasing the book, with a judge finding in his favor in late July.

Cohen said if he could he would tell Trump to "resign now."

"Let Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceFormer Pence aide: White House staffers discussed Trump refusing to leave office Pence vows for law and order everywhere Trump met with chants of protest as he pays respects to Ruth Bader Ginsburg MORE pardon you from any and all potential crimes that will come out against you, and that would be my recommendation to you," he told NBC.

In the book, Cohen reportedly refers to the president as an “organized crime don.” The tell-all reportedly says that the campaign finance scheme for which Cohen was convicted could lead to charges for the president after he leaves office.

“It never pays to settle these things, but many, many friends have advised me to pay,” Trump said, according to Cohen. “If it comes out, I’m not sure how it would play with my supporters. But I bet they’d think it’s cool that I slept with a porn star.”


Cohen also alleges in the book that he heard Trump make racist comments about former President Obama and Nelson Mandela and that the president described Cohen’s then-15-year-old daughter as “hot.”

The White House has denied the allegations in the book, calling it “fiction” and noting that Cohen has previously pleaded guilty to lying to Congress.

"Michael Cohen is a disgraced felon and disbarred lawyer, who lied to Congress," White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement. "He has lost all credibility, and it's unsurprising to see his latest attempt to profit off of lies."

Updated Sept. 8.