Donald Trump’s longtime disdain for former President Barack Obama is rooted in racism and jealousy of his accomplishments, Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal lawyer and fixer, told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow on Tuesday.
Cohen, who has released a new tell-all book about the president, titled, Disloyal: A Memoir, talked about how his former boss tried to spread the false claim about Obama not being born in Hawaii. Cohen told Maddow that while Trump was ceaselessly making those claims, he “saw that his poll numbers and his popularity and the number of times that he’s gracing the cover of the newspaper is increasing.”
In April 2011, Trump claimed he had personally sent investigators to Hawaii to uncover information about then-President Obama’s birthplace and bragged that they couldn’t “believe what they’re finding.”
When ABC News asked him about the investigators later that month, Trump refused to say what they had found. “It’s none of your business right now,” he said. “We are going to see what happens.”
But on Tuesday, Cohen told Maddow that Trump lied about sending private investigators to Hawaii. “He never sent anybody anywhere, he just said it and everybody sort of bought into it,” Cohen said.
“‘Of course Donald Trump sent somebody, he’s rich, right, who wouldn’t send somebody if you wanted to prove your point?’ Well, Donald Trump didn’t do it because he didn’t want to spend the money and he didn’t believe it.
“His hatred for Barack Obama is plain and simple: He’s Black, he went to Harvard Law, he graduated the top of his class, he’s incredibly articulate, and he’s all the things that Donald Trump wants to be, and he just can’t handle it.”
Cohen is serving the rest of a three-year sentence for fraud and perjury under house arrest due to concerns over the coronavirus in prisons. In his new book, he writes that Trump dislikes Obama so much that he hired a “Faux-Obama”, a Black man who portrayed Obama and was the subject of belittling from Trump.
The information about the “Faux-Obama” comes with a photo of Trump and another Black man seated on opposite sides of a desk. The Black man wore an American flag pin on a suit. Cohen, a former close ally of Trump, is now visibly campaigning to have him defeated by Democratic nominee Joe Biden in November.