Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former attorney, alleged on Tuesday night that Trump had directly approved a National Enquirer front-page story in 2016 that ludicrously claimed Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)’s father was involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
MSNBC host Rachel Maddow asked Cohen, who is currently serving a prison sentence for campaign finance violations and tax fraud, about his allegation, which the disbarred lawyer had first mentioned in his new tell-all book, “Disloyal: A Memoir.”
“Do you know if Senator Cruz knows that Donald Trump approved that personally and made that happen personally?” Maddow asked.
“Well, he does now,” Cohen replied with a laugh.
Asked if Trump was similarly involved in pushing salacious stories about his other GOP rivals in the 2016 election cycle, Cohen asserted that “nothing happens without Mr. Trump’s approval at the Trump Organization.”
“To the same extent, nothing happens without President Trump’s approval. He micromanages everything,” the former attorney added. “Especially, and including, things that he doesn’t know anything about.”
Cohen went on to describe how David Pecker, the publisher of the National Enquirer and a close friend of Trump’s, would approach him with a potentially damaging story about one of the then-candidate’s rivals. Cohen would “immediately” bring it to Trump, who would “approve” the story and allow Cohen to give Pecker the green light.
Cruz’s office did not respond to TPM’s request for comment at the time of writing.
The White House has denied Cohen’s slew of eyebrow–raising accounts of Trump’s behavior in his book, with White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany stating that Cohen has “lost all credibility” and that “it’s unsurprising to see his latest attempt to profit off of lies.”
Watch Cohen below:
Michael Cohen says Trump was directly responsible for the National Enquirer’s bogus story linking Ted Cruz’s father to the JFK assassination. pic.twitter.com/JPyN2q5RmE
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) September 9, 2020