At this point in his presidency, we hardly need any more proof that President Donald Trump is extremely racist. Nevertheless, for those who have even an inkling of doubt that the president of the United States is a dyed in the wool bigot, here comes Michael Cohen—Trump’s former attorney and confidant—with some salacious allegations about his onetime patron’s gutter-level racism.
In an interview with Vanity Fair’s Emily Jane Fox published Friday, Cohen describes a number of interactions between himself and the president in which Trump, the self-described “least racist person,” allegedly spewed the same sort of garbage you’d expect to hear from a drunk uncle at Thanksgiving. In the 1950s. At George Wallace’s house.
Per Vanity Fair (emphasis mine):
Cohen recalled a discussion at Trump Tower, following the then-candidate’s return from a campaign rally during the 2016 election cycle. Cohen had watched the rally on TV and noticed that the crowd was largely caucasian. He offered this observation to his boss. “I told Trump that the rally looked vanilla on television. Trump responded, ‘That’s because black people are too stupid to vote for me.’”
This conversation, he noted, was reminiscent of an exchange that the two men had engaged in years earlier, after Nelson Mandela’s death. “[Trump] said to me, ‘Name one country run by a black person that’s not a shithole,’ and then he added, ‘Name one city.’”
The comment closely echoes one reportedly made by Trump during an immigration meeting earlier this year. And as a reminder, Mandela died in 2013, in the midst of President Barack Obama’s second term.
After the first few seasons of The Apprentice, Cohen recalled how he and Trump were discussing the reality show and past-season winners. The conversation wended its way back to the show’s first season, which ended in a head-to-head between two contestants, Bill Rancic and Kwame Jackson. “Trump was explaining his back-and-forth about not picking Jackson,” an African-American investment manager who had graduated from Harvard Business School. “He said, ‘There’s no way I can let this black f-g win.’
“I should have been a bigger person, and I should have left,” Cohen told Vanity Fair. Instead, Cohen stayed on with Trump and became one of his most forceful—if hilarious—advocates during the 2016 presidential election.
Cohen’s recent allegations are just the latest in a series of extremely personal and intensely awkward rebuttals to Trump in recent weeks, following Cohen’s guilty plea—and incrimination of Trump himself—stemming from a number of campaign finance violations. Trump, for his part, reportedly made Cohen’s life a living hell while the lawyer worked for him at the Trump organization.
Whether Cohen’s latest revelations will actually do anything to change people’s perception of Trump, though, remains to be seen. For those who already see him as a racist—nothing new here. And for those who see him as a racist and love him for it—nothing new here either.