President Donald Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen said Friday he believes the President will “do anything and everything” to win re-election even if that means “manipulating the ballots.”
“So Donald Trump will do anything and everything within which to win,” Cohen told NBC News’ Lester Holt in an interview when asked if he though Trump would clinch a victory in the upcoming presidential elections. “And I believe that includes manipulating the ballots,” Cohen said.
The comments come as the President earlier this week suggested at two different campaign events in North Carolina and later in Pennsylvania that his supporters should commit voter fraud by illegally casting a ballot twice – first submitting an absentee ballot and then appearing at the polls in-person to cast a second vote.
Cohen who served as President Trump’s personal lawyer and “fixer” said that his former boss would “even go so far as to start a war in order to prevent himself from being removed from office.”
Cohen’s concerns reflect those of many Democratic lawmakers who have suggested that Trump’s ongoing attacks on mail-in voting in addition to broader efforts to delegitimize the electoral process are priming him to try to contest the election’s results should they prove unfavorable to him.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden already warned that Trump would employ unsavory tactics.
“This president is going to try to steal this election,” Biden said in June.
“My biggest fear is that there will not be a peaceful transition of power in 2020,” Cohen told NBC News.
Cohen began serving a three-year prison sentence last year for financial crimes and lying to Congress. He was released in July to home confinement following considerations about health safety in prisons amid the coronavirus pandemic.
In addition to calling Trump both a “con man” and “a cheat” during emotional testimony before Congress last year, Cohen has since spoken out warning voters about the dangers of a second-term should Trump be re-elected in November. In a video clip produced by liberal super PAC, American Bridge 21st Century that aired during the Republican National Convention, Cohen said that Trump “can’t be trusted.”
Cohen also joins a long list of Trump detractors who have written accounts about their personal and professional encounters with the President — his book that chronicles his experiences working with the President entitled “Disloyal, a Memoir,” hits shelves on Tuesday.
The White House has called Cohen’s book “fan fiction” and saying in a statement that the former Trump associate, “readily admits to lying routinely but expects people to believe him now so that he can make money from book sales.”