Michael Cohen may not be the most savory character to have monetized his connection to the president through a book, but Trump’s former fixer was one of the figures most closely involved with his alleged improprieties prior to May 2018, when he was let go as his personal attorney. Following Cohen’s brief return to jail after he was let out on house arrest earlier this year — an alleged attempt to punish him for writing a book — his tell-all is out this week, with several new allegations and confirmations. Below is everything we know about Cohen’s Disloyal: A Memoir.
Jerry Falwell Jr.’s Trump endorsement was related to his fear of “personal” photos being released
Last year, Reuters reported that the Evangelical leader’s endorsement of a twice-divorced, nonreligious candidate was connected to Cohen’s effort to keep “a bunch of photographs, personal photographs,” of Falwell and his wife from becoming public. In Disloyal, Cohen confirms the reporting, walking back a previous denial of the incident. “I would call in this favor, not for me, but for the Boss, at a crucial moment on his journey to the presidency,” Cohen writes.
Shortly after the publication of the book on Tuesday, Reuters contacted Falwell, who had recently resigned from the presidency of Liberty University. It led to an interesting exchange:
After this story was published, Jerry Falwell spoke by phone with Reuters. He said that “someone stole some pictures I took of my wife in the back yard. Topless. Big deal. OK?” But he said his endorsement of Trump had nothing to do with Cohen’s role in suppressing the racy photographs …
Toward the end of the call, Becki Falwell, who has not commented on the Cohen book or the photographs, could be heard urging her husband to cut short the conversation with Reuters. “Hang up the goddamn phone,” she told her husband. “Hang up the phone, Jerry!”
Trump’s coordination with the National Enquirer was more extensive than previously known
During the last election, the tabloid run by the president’s friend David Pecker agreed to pay model Karen McDougal $150,000 for the exclusive rights to publish her claim that she had had an affair with Trump. The president agreed to compensate Pecker for buying and burying the story, though Cohen claims he never did.
According to Cohen, the Trump campaign’s coordination with the National Enquirer went beyond this crucial catch-and-kill tactic. Before publication, the tabloid shared its plan to smear Marco Rubio and allowed Trump to sign off on a photo that would be used as purported evidence that Ted Cruz’s father had met with Lee Harvey Oswald shortly before Oswald killed John F. Kennedy.
“It’s not real, right?,” Trump asked, according to Cohen.
“Looks real to me,” Cohen responded. He writes that Trump laughed and demanded the story be run on the National Enquirer cover.
The Trump children wanted their father to end his campaign
While accounts detailing their father’s racist beliefs and business practices were public prior to his run for office, Cohen writes that Donald Jr., Ivanka, Eric, and Jared Kushner were “mortified” by Trump’s announcement that he was running for president — in which he claimed that Mexicans immigrating to the country were “rapists.” Cohen writes that the Trump kids feared their father’s racist comments could “totally” destroy the family name, resulting in their “social position and legacy” being “flushed down the drain.”
“Ivanka led the charge,” Cohen writes. According to the attorney, she said, “You’ve got to get Dad to stop the campaign. It’s killing the company.” Trump Jr. allegedly said to Cohen, “If he keeps this up, you’ll be named the CEO of the Rump Organization. We’re losing millions.”
Cohen details more allegations of racism
Like other Trump books before it, Cohen’s tell-all provides new allegations of the president’s bigotry. According to the book, Trump said Barack Obama got into Harvard only because of “fucking affirmative action,” and Trump once asked Cohen to name “one country run by a Black person that isn’t a shithole. They are all complete fucking toilets.” After the death of Nelson Mandela in 2013, Trump allegedly told Cohen the South African president “fucked the whole country up. Now it’s a shithole.”