NEW YORK >> President Donald Trump’s former lawyer says the erstwhile reality TV star frequently made offensive and racist comments in private — even telling him during the 2016 campaign he believed “black people are too stupid to vote for me.”
Michael Cohen told Vanity Fair today that he often heard Trump make such comments behind closed doors.
Cohen recounted a discussion he had with the then-presidential candidate at Trump Tower in 2016 in which the one-time Trump confidante noted that the crowd at a rally earlier in the day was largely Caucasian.
“I told Trump that the rally looked vanilla on television. Trump responded, ‘That’s because black people are too stupid to vote for me,’” Cohen told the magazine.
Years earlier, shortly after the death of Nelson Mandela, Cohen claims that Trump asked him to, “Name one country run by a black person that’s not a s—-hole,” adding, “Name one city.”
Cohen also recalled a trip in the 2000s in which he and Trump were riding in a car riding through a run-down neighborhood in Chicago on the way to a business meeting. Trump took note of his surroundings and said something to the effect of “only the blacks could live like this.”
Another racist comment came from Trump when the pair were discussing past seasons of “The Apprentice.”
The two were talking the show’s first season, which ended with two contestants, Bill Rancic and Kwame Jackson, in a head-to-head.
“Trump was explaining his back-and-forth about not picking Jackson,” an African-American investment manager who had graduated from Harvard Business School, Cohen said. “He said, ‘There’s no way I can let this black f-g win.’”
Cohen told Vanity Fair that, in retrospect, he wished he stopped working for Trump when he heard his old boss’ remarks.
The disgraced barrister pleaded guilty in August to campaign finance crimes for paying two women to keep quiet about their alleged affairs with Trump ahead of the 2016 election — telling the judge that he did so at the request of his former boss.
He chose to share his stories now because he “wants to clear his conscience and warn voters about what he sees as the president’s true nature in advance of the midterm election,” according to the magazine.
Cohen was Trump’s staunchest defender against such accusations of racism until he took a plea deal and the pair had a falling out.
Paolo Zampolli, a longtime friend of the Trump family who introduced the president to the first lady, had some harsh words for Cohen.
“It’s nonsense,” Zampolli told the Daily News. “I think that this comes from a guy who lost his profession and is trying to make some money for writing a book or something. This is a book tour start.”
Cohen is scheduled to be sentenced in December.
Trump has faced cries of racism from critics since launching his campaign for the White House by decrying “rapists” being sent to the U.S. from Mexico. He recently re-upped his anti-immigrant rhetoric in the lead up to the midterms by railing against a caravan of Central American migrants currently marching through Mexico.
Cohen’s claims of racist behavior back up several other reports of Trump’s racist remarks.
Earlier this year, Trump expressed frustration with people coming to the U.S. from Haiti, El Salvador and some parts of Africa, places which he reportedly referred to as “s—-hole countries” during a closed-door meeting in the White House.
Former White House staffer and two-time star of Trump’s reality show, Omarosa Manigault Newman accused the president of using racist language in a book released this past summer.
Manigault Newman alleged that Trump was recorded multiple times using the N-word during filming of “The Apprentice.”
Trump responded to the accusations by calling Manigault Newman a “dog” and a “crazed, crying lowlife.”