President Trump on Friday blasted Michael Cohen over a newly reported book proposal that apparently painted the president in a positive light, saying his former lawyer's pitch contradicts this week's congressional testimony and renders him “totally discredited.”
“Wow, just revealed that Michael Cohen wrote ‘a love letter to Trump’ manuscript for a new book that he was pushing. Written and submitted long after Charlottesville and Helsinki, his phony reasons for going rogue. Book is exact opposite of his fake testimony, which is now a lie!” Trump tweeted Friday.
“Congress must demand the transcript of Michael Cohen’s new book, given to publishers a short time ago. Your heads will spin when you see the lies, misrepresentations and contradictions against his Thursday testimony. Like a different person! He is totally discredited!” he continued.
The president’s tweets come after the Daily Mail exclusively obtained a proposal reportedly dated Jan. 24, 2018 and titled “Trump Revolution: From The Tower to the White House.” Cohen reportedly was shopping the pitch to publishers just weeks before the FBI raided his office as part of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York’s criminal investigation into his personal business dealings.
According to the Daily Mail, Cohen’s book would have touted Trump, countering descriptions of his then-boss as "crazy," "dumb," "paranoid" and hateful toward the media.
The pitch reportedly said: "All of these things have been said about my longtime boss, Donald J. Trump. None of it is true. Except maybe that last one – about the media. Trump does believe that reporters are out to get him, and for a very good reason. Many of them are."
The Mail reported that Cohen promised chapters would focus on first lady Melania Trump and Trump’s children, as well as the “unfortunate saga” of Stormy Daniels.
"By offering my point-of-view, it is my sincere hope that I can help close or at least narrow the knowledge gap," he reportedly wrote.
The book deal was reportedly being negotiated with Hachette’s Center Street, but ultimately collapsed when Cohen was charged by SDNY.
But the revelation of Cohen’s proposal comes after the now-disbarred attorney delivered scathing testimony about Trump before the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday. Cohen called Trump a “racist,” a “conman” and “a cheat.”
“Since taking office, he has become the worst version of himself. He is capable of behaving kindly, but he is not kind. He is capable of committing acts of generosity, but he is not generous. He is capable of being loyal, but he is fundamentally disloyal,” Cohen said in his opening statement Wednesday, adding that “to our nation, I am sorry for actively working to hide from you the truth about Mr. Trump when you needed it most.”
Yet he also testified he started having his doubts about the president after the summit with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki and Trump's handling of white supremacist violence and rallies in Charlottesville, Va. While the book proposal came before the Helsinki summit, it came well after the Charlottesville violence, and a full year into Trump's presidency.
Republicans on the oversight committee, like Ranking Member Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, blasted Cohen, questioning why he continued to work for Trump for 10 years and claiming that Cohen turned on the president after he didn't get a job in the White House. Cohen denied wanting to work in the administration.
Cohen’s high-profile congressional testimony came after he pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about a Trump real estate project in Russia as part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling and potential collusion with Trump campaign associates. Cohen also pleaded guilty to five counts of tax evasion, one count of making false statements to a financial institution, one count of willfully causing an unlawful corporate contribution, and one count of making an excessive campaign contribution.
He is reporting in May to serve a three-year prison sentence.
Trump on Friday also complained that Democrats are now using the testimony to expand and pursue their own investigations.
“Oh’ I see! Now that the 2 year Russian Collusion case has fallen apart, there was no Collusion except bye[sic] Crooked Hillary and the Democrats, they say, ‘gee, I have an idea, let’s look at Trump’s finances and every deal he has ever done. Let’s follow discredited Michael Cohen and the fraudulent and dishonest statements he made on Wednesday,” Trump tweeted Friday.
“No way, it’s time to stop this corrupt and illegally brought Witch Hunt. Time to start looking at the other side where real crimes were committed. Republicans have been abused long enough. Must end now!” he continued.
During his testimony, Cohen said he brought evidence to support previous claims that Trump organized the hush-money payments to two women—Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal. Cohen accused Trump of being involved in a “criminal scheme to violate campaign finance laws.” Cohen testified Wednesday that Trump repaid him in $35,000 installments.
“Michael Cohen’s book manuscript shows that he committed perjury on a scale not seen before. He must have forgotten about his book when he testified. What does Hillary Clinton’s lawyer, Lanny Davis, say about this one. Is he being paid by Crooked Hillary. Using her lawyer?” Trump tweeted Friday morning.
Cohen is represented by Lanny Davis, a longtime Clinton ally.
On Friday, Davis responded to Trump in a statement: “Sometime in early 2018, Mr. Cohen was offered a substantial advance for a proposal regarding a book on understanding Donald Trump. Mr. Cohen ultimately elected not to proceed. In other words, POTUS has yet lied again...but what’s the difference between 9000 or 9001 lies?”
House Oversight Committee Republicans on Thursday referred Cohen to the Justice Department, claiming he committed perjury during his testimony over several statements made regarding his aspirations of working in the Trump administration and his foreign business contracts. Davis countered in a statement Thursday that his client testified "truthfully" before the committee, calling the complaint a "baseless criminal referral" and "sad misuse of the criminal justice system with the aura of pure partisanship.”
Cohen also testified Wednesday that he would not commit to rejecting any type of book, movie, or television deal when his prison sentence is complete.