How many red flags can you spot in this sentence:
Donald Trump’s former fixer Michael Cohen took a phone call in March from comedian Tom Arnold, in the course of which Cohen claimed he was not responsible for some of the crimes to which he pleaded guilty, while Arnold secretly recorded the call and gave a copy to the Wall Street Journal.
In its report on the 36-minute tape, WSJ reports Cohen told Arnold he hadn’t evaded taxes and that a criminal charge related to his home-equity line of credit was hooey.
Cohen is headed for the slammer next month to begin a 3-year sentence.
“I’m a man all alone and I shouldn’t be alone any more,” Cohen complained to Arnold in the recording WSJ made available online.
“I mean, after over 100 hours of testimony, including seven and a half hours of being beaten up on national television, you know, international television.”
“You would think that you would have folks, you know, stepping up and saying, ‘You know what, this guy’s lost everything…My family’s happiness, my law license. I lost my business…my insurance, my bank accounts. All for what?” Cohen asked comedian Arnold.
“Because Trump had an affair with a porn star? That’s really what this is about,” he said. “There is no tax evasion. And the HELOC [Home Equity Line of Credit]? I have an 18% loan to value on my home. How could there be a HELOC issue? Right?… It’s a lie.”
Cohen crossed paths with Arnold in June of 2018. Not knowing any better, Cohen agreed to pose for a photo with Arnold, who turned around and announced to the world, “This dude has all the tapes. This dude has everything. I say to Michael, ‘Guess what? We’re taking Trump down together,’ and he’s so tired he’s like, ‘OK,’ and his wife is like, ‘OK, fuck Trump’,” Arnold said back then when he was touting his Viceland show The Hunt For the Trump Tapes in which he engaged in a made-for-TV hunt for dirt to bring down President Donald Trump.
After that photo, Cohen had to do clean up, tweeting, “Appreciate @TomArnold kind words about me as a great father, husband and friend. This was a chance, public encounter in the hotel lobby where he asked for a selfie. Not spending the weekend together, did not discuss being on his show nor did we discuss @POTUS. #done #ridiculous”
And yet, he took Arnold’s phone call, which the comedian said he made in order to offer Cohen moral support, but recorded “because Cohen ‘tapes everything and I wanted to remember what we talked about’,” WSJ reported.
Cohen’s lawyer , Lanny Davis, told WSJ “Michael has taken responsibility for his crime and will soon report to prison to serve his sentence. While he cannot change the past, he is making every effort to reclaim his life and do right by his family and country. He meant no offense by his statements.”
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.