Michael Cohen's memoirs, in the event that President Donald Trump is "guilty of the same crimes" that landed his former fixer in federal prison, provide a detailed account of Trump's alleged role in a once overshadowed hush-money scandal during his presidency.
Of all the crises Cohen faced with Trump, none proved as annoying as porn actress Stormy Daniels and her allegations of an extramarital affair with Trump, writes Cohen in Disloyal: The Real Story of the Former Personal Attorney to President Donald J. Trump. ”
Despite his later protests, Trump gave the green light to paying $ 130,000 to silence Daniels ahead of the 2016 election, arguing that he would have to "pay" his wife a far larger sum if the matter was ever revealed, Cohen writes, adding the President later reimbursed him for "false legal fees".
"It's never worth arranging these things, but many, many friends have advised me to pay," said Trump, according to Cohen. "When it comes out, I'm not sure how it would play to my followers. But I bet they think it's cool that I slept with a porn star."
The White House called Cohen's memoir "fanfiction".
"He likes to admit that he routinely lied, but expects people to believe him now so that he can make money selling books," White House spokesman Brian Morgenstern said in a statement. "It is unfortunate that the media are using this sad and desperate man to attack President Trump."
The Associated Press received an early edition of the book, which is due out Tuesday.
Cohen, who pleaded guilty to campaign funding violations and other crimes, including lying to Congress, describes himself as the "star witness" of a hush-money conspiracy that continues after his departure from office Could lead to charges against Trump. He described his new book as "basic evidence" of the President's guilt.
Cohen's claims – his most detailed to date – are part of a ruthless and deeply personal defeat for Trump. Cohen attacks Trump as the "Don of organized crime" and "master manipulator" but admits he has seen much of himself in a man he once considered a father figure.
"I still care about Donald Trump to this day," writes Cohen, "and I had and still have a lot of affection for him."
Cohen is unable to express his unwavering loyalty to a businessman who left him at the most vulnerable point in his life. Comparing his allegiance to Trump to mental illness, he said he saw himself as an alcohol or drug user in need of intervention.
"It seemed (to my family) that I wasn't listening to anyone, not even the people who loved me the most, as I began to let Trump control my mind," Cohen writes.
"I'll admit, I've never really understood why it means so much to me to please Trump," added Cohen. "To date, I don't have the full answer."
Cohen says in the book that despite the dirty work and fleeting personality, he stayed loyal to Trump for so long because he wanted to stay close to his fame and power.
"I was the canary in the coal mine for the millions of Americans who are still fascinated by the power of Trump," writes Cohen.
The memoir offers an introspective – and sometimes self-despicable – excuse for the role Cohen played in Trump's political rise. He urged Trump to run for president for years but now complains that his election "has brought the nation, and perhaps even the world, to the brink of disaster".
"I thought Trump was a visionary with a no-nonsense attitude and the charisma to attract all kinds of voters," he writes. But the real reason he wanted Trump in the White House, Cohen admits, "was because I wanted the power that it meant." he would bring to me. "
But Cohen expresses little to no remorse for his federal crimes, saying he was “verbally abused” by the government and pleaded guilty after prosecutors threatened to indict his wife.
"I was in the grip of the condemnation machine," he writes. "I was the ham sandwich and I was charged."
Cohen writes that Trump's three oldest children came to his office after Trump's campaign announcement in 2015, in which he labeled people who had come to the US from Mexico as rapists and murderers. Cohen says they asked him to convince her father to drop out of the race because his rhetoric would harm the company.
"MC, you have to get dad to stop the campaign. It's killing the company," Cohen quoted Ivanka as saying.
Cohen says Trump is undeterred and not concerned about the damage to his businesses. "Besides, I'll never get the Hispanic vote," Trump said, according to Cohen. "Like blacks, they are too stupid to vote for Trump. They are not my people."
Cohen has put a publicity lightning around his memoir even though he continues to serve his federal sentence in domestic custody. A federal judge ruled this summer that authorities retaliated against him – sent him back to New York state prison after his vacation for the coronavirus pandemic – for publishing the book ahead of the November election.
He was released in July and the government lifted a ban on speaking in public.
"This story is all I have for my wife, my children, and the country I love so much," Cohen writes.
Associate press writer Hillel Italie contributed to this report.