After the Pittsburgh synagogue shootings, Michael Cohen tweeted about the need to "tone down rhetoric" and leveled an accusation against President Trump: that his former boss had made racist remarks when they worked together. "I should have been a bigger person, and I should have left," he tells Vanity Fair. The former Trump "fixer"—now a registered Democrat who has pleaded guilty to several charges, including bank fraud and campaign finance violations—made the following accusations:
- After a 2016 Trump rally, Cohen watched the event on TV and told Trump that his supporters were mostly white. "I told Trump that the rally looked vanilla on television," says Cohen. "Trump responded, 'That's because black people are too stupid to vote for me.'"
- On that note, Cohen recalled an earlier exchange with Trump after Nelson Mandela died. "[Trump] said to me, 'Name one country run by a black person that's not a shithole,' and then he added, 'Name one city.'"
- In the late 2000s, the pair were going to Chicago for a board meeting at Trump International Hotel. "We were going from the airport to the hotel, and we drove through what looked like a rougher neighborhood," says Cohen. "Trump made a comment to me, saying that only blacks could live like this."
- A few years into The Apprentice, Cohen and Trump talked about why certain contestants had won and others lost—and why Bill Rancic had beaten Kwame Jackson (a black investment manager with a Harvard degree) on the show's first season. "Trump was explaining his back-and-forth about not picking Jackson," says Cohen. "He said, 'There's no way I can let this black f---ing win.'"
- A source in the Trump Organization has responded to Cohen's accusations, telling NBC News: "This is a guy who told the Daily Beast it's not illegal to rape your wife and tweeted threatening comments about members of the media, but now has suddenly found God. The only person to blame for Michael's situation is Michael."
Speaking of Cohen's situation, he has started a GoFundMe page. (Read more Michael Cohen stories.)