- Michael Cohen on Wednesday told members of Congress that President Donald Trump is a “racist.”
- Cohen further said Trump once asked him if he “could name a country run by a black person that wasn’t a ‘shithole.'”
- Additionally, Cohen said Trump once told him black people would “never vote for him because they were too stupid.”
- Follow along with all the updates from Cohen’s testimony here.
Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former longtime lawyer and fixer, on Wednesday testified before Congress that Trump is a “racist” who once asked him if he “could name a country run by a black person that wasn’t a “shithole.”
“[Trump] once asked me if I could name a country run by a black person that wasn’t a ‘shithole.’ This was when Barack Obama was President of the United States,” Cohen said as he testified before the House Oversight Committee about his relationship with Trump.
Relatedly, Trump reportedly referred toHaiti, El Salvador, and African countries as “shitholes” in a meeting with lawmakers at the White House on immigration in January 2018.
Cohen also recalled a time that he was driving through a “struggling neighbourhood” with the president, and “[Trump] commented that only black people could live that way. And he told me that black people would never vote for him because they were too stupid. And yet I continued to work for him.”
Michael Cohen: "While we were driving through a struggling neighborhood in Chicago, [Pres. Trump] commented that only black people could live that way. And he told me that black people would never vote for him because they were too stupid. And yet I continued to work for him." pic.twitter.com/EtEgvLUerf
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) February 27, 2019
In a later exchange with GOP Rep. Mark Meadows, who early on made his disdain for the hearing quite clear, Cohen was pressed about how Trump could be racist given his employment of Lynne Patton.
Patton, who is black, currently works in the department of Housing and Urban Development and was at the hearing as Meadows’ guest.
“[Patton] says that as a daughter of a man born in Birmingham, Alabama, that there is no way that she would work for an individual who was racist,” Meadows said to Cohen. “How do you reconcile the two of those?”
Cohen replied, “As neither should I as the son of a Holocaust survivor.”
As Meadows continued to press Cohen, he told the Republican representative to ask Patton how many black executives work at the Trump Organisation. “The answer is zero,” Cohen said.
Patton previously worked with the Trump Organisation, and was reportedly brought into Trump’s orbit by Cohen.
Prior to Wednesday’s hearing, Patton tweeted about her past with Trump and Cohen.
I am honored to be the special guest of @RepMarkMeadows today. I am here in support of @POTUS and in support of the truth, as Michael Cohen (knows that I know) it to be. And the truth is that it doesn’t take you 15 years to call someone a racist. Unless they’re not one. pic.twitter.com/jPxeYTbTYT
— ???????? Lynne Patton (@LynnePatton) February 27, 2019
Trump has faced allegations of racism for years, but especially since his 2016 presidential campaign.
Cohen’s comments on Wednesday were particularly significant given his formerly close ties to Trump and intimate knowledge of his worldview.
The president slammed Cohen in a tweet on Wednesday, stating, “Michael Cohen was one of many lawyers who represented me (unfortunately). He had other clients also. He was just disbarred by the State Supreme Court for lying & fraud. He did bad things unrelated to Trump. He is lying in order to reduce his prison time. Using Crooked’s lawyer!”
Read more about Cohen’s testimony:
- Michael Cohen will testify that Trump knew Roger Stone was in touch with WikiLeaks during the election
- ‘I am ashamed because I know what Mr. Trump is’: Michael Cohen’s bombshell opening statement before the House Oversight Committee drops hours before he is scheduled to testify
- Here are the 4 documents Michael Cohen says he gave to the House Oversight Committee that could be problematic for Trump
- Michael Cohen details hush-money payments in bombshell opening statement: ‘Lying to the First Lady is one of my biggest regrets’
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