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Poor Michael

Poor Michael

by digby


Via The Daily Beast, we learn that Trumpworld is abandoning Michael Cohen:

In March, Michael Cohen’s lawyer went on NBC to declare with “100 percent” certainty that President Donald Trump had not reimbursed Cohen for a $130,000 payment to Trump’s alleged porn star mistress. The president has now officially confirmed that that was not the case.

The now-refuted claim by Cohen’s lawyer, David Schwartz, illustrated the potential pitfalls for allies of Cohen and his one-time client, the president, in publicly defending Cohen in the face of a rapidly escalating scandal. What began as a controversy over a six-figure payment to silence the president’s alleged mistress during the 2016 campaign has ballooned into to a far larger scandal involving the sale of Trump administration access to corporate clients with business before the federal government, and even foreign state actors accused of seeking to bribe top White House officials.

Schwartz continues to serve as Cohen’s spokesman in addition to his attorney. But his TV appearances have receded since late March, leaving the task of defending Cohen to White House allies and surrogates who are increasingly wary of being forced to stick up for the man at the center of the biggest Trumpworld scandal since the Russia investigation.

Michael Cohen, in short, has become a Trumpworld pariah.

Senior White House officials habitually dodge questions on Cohen, his predicament, and its potential consequences for the president, instead referring related questions to attorneys representing Cohen and Trump. Officials privately wish that President Trump never talked or tweeted publicly about his personal lawyer—which, true to form, is a wish the president has refused to grant.

Two prominent allies of the president, who also know Cohen well, told The Daily Beast they’ve begun ignoring or declining requests from cable news bookers to discuss Cohen on-air. “It’s time to keep a distance,” one of these people said.

Numerous other Trump associates, veterans of the 2016 campaign or presidential transition, and White House surrogates said they’re avoiding any phone contact with Cohen out of concern that his line might be tapped, and that direct interaction could involve them in the scandal that has enveloped Cohen and the influence-peddling operation he set up in the wake of Trump’s election victory...

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This does not seem very bright to me. I'm sure they don't want to be exposed legally, but it's important that Michael feels that he's still warmly embraced by the president if they expect him to keep his trap shut. Cohen needs to be handled very carefully. This seems short-sighted.