How Donald Trump's Tweets About Michael Cohen Changed In 2018 Say So Much About Their Relationship
Well everyone, the year is basically done. I don't know about y'all, but 2018 has certainly been quite the year, and even more of a roller coaster for a certain United States president and his former attorney. So, to honor the end of 2018, let's take a trip down memory lane and compare how Donald Trump's tweets about Michael Cohen changed over the year. Spoiler alert: it doesn't look pretty.
By this point, we're all pretty familiar with the tumultuous relationship between President Donald Trump and his former attorney, Michael Cohen. However, once upon a time, the dynamic between these two men once wasn't filled with name-calling or finger pointing. Before Trump won the presidency, rumor has it that these two shared quite a close bromance, but that all changed when he moved into the White House. Since, the relationship between them has grown increasingly acrimonious, featuring personal jabs and controversial business deals.
However, as of Wednesday, Dec. 12, Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison for his two guilty pleas concerning financial crimes, with the possibility of knocking down that sentence given he cooperates with prosecutors. Cohen has been ordered to surrender himself on March 6, when his sentence will begin.
So as Cohen prepares for his prison time and Trump continues to be in hot water concerning various legal matters, let's take a peek at how the president's attitude towards Cohen has changed over this year. Truth be told, I'm feeling the nostalgia.
In The Beginning, Trump Had Full Faith In Michael Cohen
Let's start all the way back in April 2018, when Cohen was first confronted by federal prosecutors in regards to financial fraud and criminal charges. On April 9, investigators raided Cohen's office, ostensibly for files about the president's financial dealings and specifically payments that Cohen made on the president's behalf regarding women who claim to have had affairs with the president. Trump has denied the affairs and also denied knowing about the payments in advance. Shortly after the raid, The New York Times predicted that Cohen would cooperate with officials, and in response to the publication's assumption, Trump immediately took to Twitter to state that Cohen won't "flip" on him, and that he's a "fine person with a wonderful family."
Truth be told, Trump complimenting Cohen seems like a fairy tale at this point in time. However, back then, it was the last gasp of a longstanding friendship. Pour one out.
The Niceties Didn't Last Long
In August, everyone was shocked to hear that Cohen had pleaded guilty to eight counts of financial fraud, including five counts of of tax evasion, one count of false statements to financial institutions, one count of cause of unlawful corporate contribution, and one count of excessive campaign contribution. In addition, Cohen admitted to paying Stephanie Clifford (also known as Stormy Daniels) and Karen McDougal, two women who claimed to have had affairs with Donald Trump in 2006, at "the direction of the candidate," a phrase which seemed to implicate Trump. Trump has consistently denied all of the affair allegations, and the White House didn't respond to Elite Daily's request for comment regarding Cohen's claims. He later said in an interview with Fox News that he had only found out about the payments "later on."
Following news of Cohen's guilty plea, Trump immediately changed his tune from defending his former attorney to throwing some serious shade.
Ah, what a difference a few months can make. Then, just like that, the name-calling and petty comments started rolling in by the dozens.
The Second Guilty Plea Didn't Help
But the August pleas weren't the end of things for Trump's one-time confidante. On Nov. 29, Cohen shocked everyone yet again when he entered a surprise guilty plea on charges of lying to Congress in a Manhattan federal court. In the plea, Cohen admitted to lying in his testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee regarding plans for a Trump Tower in Moscow, the negotiations for which, he claimed, had extended well into the 2016 presidential campaign. He also admitted in his plea that he had been in contact with Russian officials regarding the project.
At that point, Trump — for whatever reason — didn't tweet about his former fixer. But that doesn't mean he was quiet. On Thursday, Nov. 29, Trump spoke to reporters about Cohen's second guilty plea, and blasted him as a "liar" and a "very weak person."
Perhaps Trump chose not to tweet because insults like these deserve to be said in person. Regardless of the reason, this definitely represented a key turning point in Trump's thoughts towards Cohen. Yikes.
Ever Since, It's Been Nothing But Finger Pointing
Safe to say, throwing your former client under the bus in front of federal officials will probably turn any relationship sour. Plus, referring to your former attorney as a "weak person" probably doesn't help either.
Taking Trump's Twitter history into account, it comes as no surprise that he's had some choice words for Cohen, has insisted that he's had nothing to do with Cohen's bad behavior, and has openly disagreed with Cohen's request for reduced sentencing and numerous guilty pleas. So, following Cohen's second guilty plea, Trump took to Twitter on Dec. 3 to bash Cohen's request for no prison time and claims he should serve "a full sentence."
Then, a few days later, Trump took to Twitter again on Dec. 13 to claim that he never directed Cohen to break the law in regards to real-estate plans for a Trump Tower in Moscow, Russia. After putting all the blame on Cohen, Trump proceeded to call him a "great liability" and that Cohen only pleaded guilty to save his own skin, in a sense.
This year has certainly seen its fair share of drama, but this Trump-Cohen battle might have been the most suspenseful saga of them all. We'll see if this tea stays hot in the new year.