CNN obtained a copy of the book ahead of its Tuesday publication.
Trump’s disdain for Obama was so extreme that he took his fixation a step further, according to Cohen: Trump hired a “Faux-Bama” to participate in a video in which Trump “ritualistically belittled the first black president and then fired him.”
Cohen’s book, “Disloyal: A Memoir,” doesn’t name the man who was allegedly hired to play Obama or provide a specific date for the incident, but it does include a photograph of Trump sitting behind a desk, facing a Black man wearing a suit with an American flag pin affixed to the lapel. On Trump’s desk are two books, one displaying Obama’s name in large letters.
As an insider who spent years as Trump’s personal attorney and and self-proclaimed “fixer,” Cohen says he is uniquely equipped to unleash on Trump, whom Cohen describes as “a cheat, a liar, a fraud, a bully, a racist, a predator, a con man” and a person interested in using the presidency exclusively for his personal financial benefit.
But according to federal prosecutors and Cohen’s own guilty pleas, he, too, is a liar and a cheat. In 2018, he pleaded guilty to nine counts of federal crimes, including tax evasion, lying to Congress and campaign-finance violations he and prosecutors have said were done at Trump’s direction to help him win the 2016 presidential election.
Cohen acknowledges and apologizes for his role in Trump’s rise, saying he was “more than willing to lie, cheat, and bully” to help his long-time boss win the White House. And he recounts the pressure and guilt he experienced as he spoke out against Trump, writing that he considered suicide “as a way to escape the unrelenting insanity” in the weeks prior to testifying to Congress in 2019.
But in the book, he disputes having committed certain crimes to which he has already admitted, portraying himself a victim of the “gangster tactics” of the federal prosecutors of the US Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York.
Still, Cohen’s account of Trump’s personal nature and presidency is damning, and during Cohen’s time in prison, he writes, “I became even more convinced that Trump will never leave office peacefully.”
Trump’s model of a man in power, according to Cohen, is Vladimir Putin, and Trump is described as enamored of Putin’s wealth and unilateral influence, and awestruck by what he sees as the Russian president’s ability to control everything from the country’s press to its financial institutions.
“Locking up your political enemies, criminalizing dissent, terrifying or bankrupting the free press through libel lawsuits — Trump’s all-encompassing vision wasn’t evident to me before he began to run for president,” Cohen writes. “I honestly believe the most extreme ideas about power and its uses only really took shape as he began to seriously contemplate the implications of taking power and how he could leverage it to the absolute maximum level possible.”
But he reiterates his belief that Trump and his campaign officials were too disorganized to have coordinated with the Russians during the 2016 election. “What appeared to be collusion was really a confluence of shared interests in harming Hillary Clinton in any way possible, up to and including interfering in the American election — a subject that caused Trump precisely zero unease,” Cohen writes.
He also argues that, with Trump himself expecting to lose the presidential race, Trump’s goal in cozying up to Putin was to position himself to benefit financially from a planned real-estate development in Moscow after the election.
“By ingratiating himself with Putin, and hinting at changes in American sanctions policy against the country under a Trump Presidency,” Cohen writes, “the Boss was trying to nudge the Moscow Trump Tower project along.” (One of the crimes to which Cohen pleaded guilty was lying to Congress about the duration of the negotiations regarding the Moscow development.)
Cohen also portrays Trump as aspiring to have ties to the Russian president. After Trump sold a Palm Beach mansion he purchased for $41 million to a Russian oligarch named Dmitry Rybolovlev for $95 million in 2008, Cohen says, Trump told Cohen he believed the real buyer was Putin.
Cohen, however, disputes the validity of a rumored videotape depicting Trump during a trip to Moscow, saying, “this claim never occurred, to the best of my knowledge and investigations.”
But Cohen discloses that during the summer of 2016, he received an anonymous call from a man who said he was in possession of a tape matching its description. Cohen told the caller that he would need to see a few seconds of the tape to determine if it was real,…