Cohen: Trump described his campaign as 'the greatest infomercial in political history'

Cohen: Trump described his campaign as 'the greatest infomercial in political history'
© Greg Nash

Michael Cohen testified Wednesday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate gears up for battle over witnesses in impeachment trial Vulnerable Democrats tout legislative wins, not impeachment Trump appears to set personal record for tweets in a day MORE had "no desire" to lead the country, but rather sought to build his personal brand with his 2016 presidential campaign.

"Donald Trump is a man who ran for office to make his brand great, not to make our country great," Cohen told lawmakers on the House Oversight and Reform Committee. "He had no desire or intention to lead this nation, only to market himself and to build his wealth and power."

"Mr. Trump would often say this campaign was going to be the greatest infomercial in political history," Cohen said in his opening remarks. "He never expected to win the primary. He never expected to win the general election. The campaign for him was always a marketing opportunity."

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The comments came as part of a lengthy opening statement in which Cohen described Trump as a "racist," a "conman" and a "cheat" who regularly directed his former personal attorney to lie on his behalf.

Cohen alleged that Trump was engaged in a scheme to pay adult-film star Stormy Daniels during the 2016 campaign to keep her quiet about her alleged affair with the president.

The president has shifted his explanation regarding his knowledge of the payments, but has denied wrongdoing.

Multiple pundits and observers — including Daniels, author Michael Wolff and MSNBC host Joe Scarborough — have speculated since he took office that Trump did not expect to win the presidency when he ran in 2016.

The businessman has given every indication he intends to run for a second term in 2020, and held his first campaign rally of the year earlier this month in Texas.