I’m not saying we should feel sorry for Michael Cohen—a man whose clownishly aggressive behavior has been a perfect fit for his decade-plus long career as Donald Trump’s attorney and fixer. But he is still a very sad person.
Cohen’s pathetic relationship with Trump was described in a recent New York Times article. On Thursday, though, the Wall Street Journal published a new story about Cohen’s fall from grace, and it is even more painful to read. The article paints a picture of a man ignored, slighted, and even ridiculed by the object of his affection and devotion. Michael Cohen, this is your sad life!
Here’s a lighthearted anecdote about Cohen being utterly humiliated by his boss at a sacred religious celebration:
After saying he’d attend Mr. Cohen’s son’s bar mitzvah in 2012, Mr. Trump was late, and the blessings were delayed, according to an attendee.
After Mr. Trump arrived, he gave a speech, telling guests he hadn’t planned to come, but he relented after Mr. Cohen had repeatedly called him, his secretary and his children begging him to appear, the attendee said. The guests laughed because “everyone knew it was very realistic-sounding,” the attendee added.
Let’s fast forward to January 2017, shall we? Donald Trump is just days away from taking the oath of office, and has spent the transition period effectively ignoring his devoted lieutenant, who had assumed he’d be granted some sort of key role within the administration:
Mr. Cohen juggled two phones with the backdrop of mixed martial-arts paraphernalia in his office. Mr. Trump “doesn’t operate with timelines,” Mr. Cohen explained to a reporter. Then he corrected himself: “I am not a timeline item,” he said. “He knows that an hour before he leaves, if he calls me and says, ‘I need you in D.C.,’ I’ll be there.”
About a week later, Mr. Cohen had grown more frustrated. He still hadn’t solidified his role. “I still don’t know exactly what I’m going to do, whether I need to stay here for a while or go to D.C.,” he said in a phone interview. “It’s crazy we’re talking about this three, four days before which everybody starts heading down and I have no idea.”
Is there a sadder phrase than “I am not a timeline item” for a someone who has literally pledged his life to Donald Trump? And the indignities didn’t stop once Trump took office:
During the inaugural festivities, Mr. Cohen and his guests weren’t given priority access to the festivities, the person said, noting that the hurt was visible on Mr. Cohen’s face: “He was always just at the edges.”
But of all the emotional and psychological blows Cohen was forced to endure, perhaps none is quite so demeaning as this, nearly a year into Trump’s presidency:
After a video appeared on TMZ showing Mr. Cohen and Mr. Cuban at the Time Warner Center for their November 2017 breakfast, Mr. Trump called Mr. Cohen to complain, a person familiar with the conversation said.
Mr. Cohen sought to reassure him. “No boss, I had breakfast with him to set him straight. I told him he has to respect the office, to respect you,” Mr. Cohen said, according to this person.
Mr. Cohen said later in the conversation: “Boss, I miss you so much. I wish I was down there with you,” the person said. “It’s really hard for me to be here.”