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Michael Cohen said that President Donald Trump used racist language towards black people during the 2016 election cycle.
In an interview with Vanity Fair published Friday, Cohen said that after a campaign rally, he told the then-candidate Trump that his crowd “looked vanilla” on TV, pointing out that his audience was largely Caucasian. He said that Trump’s response was: “That’s because black people are too stupid to vote for me.”
The White House did not respond to TheWrap’s request for comment on all of the remarks that the president is accused of saying.
Cohen also said in the interview that while he was an employee of the Trump Organization and later as the president’s personal lawyer, Trump had used racist language.
In another instance, after Nelsen Mandela’s death, Cohen told Vanity Fair that Trump said to him: “Name one country run by a black person that’s not a s—hole,” adding, “Name one city.”
And to Cohen, Trump’s racially-charged rhetoric goes back even further. In the late 2000s, while traveling to Chicago for a Trump International Hotel board meeting, Cohen recalled: “We were going from the airport to the hotel, and we drove through what looked like a rougher neighborhood. Trump made a comment to me, saying that only the blacks could live like this.”
Cohen also told the magazine of a conversation regarding the first season of “The Apprentice.” That season ended with a head-to-head between Bill Rancic and Kwame Jackson, an African-American investment manager and Harvard Business School graduate. “Trump was explaining his back-and-forth about not picking Jackson,” Cohen said. “He said, ‘There’s no way I can let this black f—ing win.'”
Once famous for saying he would be willing to take a bullet for Trump, Cohen has cooperated with federal prosecutors in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible Russian collusion with the Trump campaign. In August, Cohen pleaded guilty in various charges including campaign finance violations, tax evasion and bank fraud. His decision to cooperate came as he potentially faced decades in prison for the violations.
In the following months, he largely stripped himself of his former affiliation from Trump. In July, he told ABC that his “first loyalty” was not to Trump but to his family and country. After once stepping gingerly around Cohen’s probable betrayal, Trump has also taken off the gloves, lacing into his former confidante on Twitter, accusing Cohen — in a subtweet — of turning on him to get out of unrelated legal trouble.
You can read the full story in Vanity Fair here.