What a kidder that guy was!
When the book on the wit and wisdom of the Trump administration is published — well, the wit anyway – that slim volume is sure to include an excerpt from former Trump Organization attorney and “fixer” Michael Cohen’s interview with the FBI, a transcript of which was released today as part of the cache of documents sent to BuzzFeed News in response to their Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.
The incident revealed by Cohen during his FBI grilling stems from a conversation he had with Donald Trump back in 2015 when Trump was in full “birther” mode and looking for ways to attack then-President Obama.
Trump noted at the time that Obama had refused to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin when both leaders were attending the United Nations General Assembly in New York City, a move that Trump felt was “stupid” since he felt that he himself would be able to get along fine with the Kremlin head.
Mind you, this was way before Michael Cohen became disillusioned with his boss and turned government witness against Trump to get leniency for the charges of campaign finance violations, tax fraud, bank fraud, and lying to Congress lodged against him by federal prosecutors.
Back then he was still a loyal consigliere to his employer, so he quickly responded to Trump’s comments by suggesting that he try to set up a meeting between the authoritarian Russian leader and his TV celebrity boss.
Cohen told the FBI that he thought it would be “funny for the two men to meet at Trump Tower and have a burger” together. Trump thought it was a great idea that he agreed would be funny and gave his lawyer the go-ahead to contact the Kremlin on his behalf.
While the sense of humor required to view the obvious publicity stunt aimed at trying to humiliate Obama is likely only possessed by members of the Republican party and blood relatives of the current president, it must be admitted that the sight of the leader of a major nation joining Donald Trump in his Trump Tower lair for a fast-food banquet — much like that which he serves those few sports teams willing to take a trip these days to the White House for a congratulatory visit — would be highly amusing, if not for the reasons that Trump would find it funny.
Michael Cohen told the FBI he thought it would be "funny" if he could arrange a meeting between Trump and Putin at Trump Tower and they had a burger together. Trump agreed it would be a good idea.
— Jason Leopold (@JasonLeopold) January 2, 2020
Expect more details from the bevy of Mueller Report materials released under BuzzFeed’s Freedom of Information Act lawsuit to dribble out over the next few days as reporters delve into the mounds of new material to peruse. We can also look forward to getting at least 500 pages of additional newly-released documents every month for the foreseeable future as the Justice Department slowly complies with the court order to release the “tens of thousands of pages of summaries of the roughly 800 or so interviews FBI agents conducted during the course of Mueller’s two-year probe,” as BuzzFeed News describes their impending treasure trove.
The contents of those interview transcripts will likely be something that neither Donald Trump nor his now-incarcerated lawyer will find funny.
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Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.