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Michael Cohen says Trump is bluffing about another presidential run because he can't 'stomach the notion of being a 2-time loser'

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Michael Cohen. Spencer Platt/Getty Images
  • Michael Cohen told Insider Trump was bluffing about a 2024 run in part because "he's making more money doing that than anything he has ever done."

  • Trump wants to retain "some semblance of power, importance, and relevance," Cohen said, "none of which he has."

  • Cohen said Trump wouldn't run because he can't "stomach the notion of being a two-time loser."

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Former President Donald Trump's ex-lawyer and fixer told Insider on Wednesday that he thought Trump was bluffing about launching another presidential run.

"His insatiable need for attention is one reason he continues to flaunt this disingenuous 2024 run," Michael Cohen said in an interview. "The other is he's making more money doing that than anything he has ever done before."

Trump has repeatedly teased a 2024 campaign since leaving office in January. The former president raised more money than any other Republican in the first half of the year and had a war chest of more than $100 million by the end of June, The New York Times reported over the summer, citing federal campaign filings.

Despite claiming the 2020 election was rigged and promising to help more Republicans get elected, Trump hasn't spent any of the money on audits or GOP-led campaigns, according to Politico. He's largely used it to promote his own interests, cover event and travel expenses, and pay the salaries of his aides and advisors, the report said. He's also used some of the funds to cover legal expenses in his baseless effort to overturn the 2020 election results.

Cohen on Wednesday described Trump as "the greatest grifter in the history of American politics," adding that Trump would ultimately come up with a "handful of reasons why he won't run again and blame others for his decision."

"He'll say he's not going to run again because of bipartisan hatred for him or because of the Democrats or because he doesn't want to put his family through any more," Cohen said. "He cannot stomach the notion of being a two-time loser, but he will continue to grift until the very last second."

A spokesperson for Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The former president is "trying to retain some semblance of power, importance, and relevance, none of which he has," said Cohen, who is serving a three-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to an array of felonies in 2018.

Michael Cohen
Michael Cohen. Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

He pleaded guilty in August 2018 to eight counts of campaign-finance violations, tax evasion, and bank fraud connected to his involvement in coordinating a 2016 hush-money payment on Trump's behalf to the adult film star Stormy Daniels. He also pleaded guilty that November to one felony count of lying to Congress as part of the special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 US election.

Trump defended Cohen earlier in 2018, describing the FBI's raids on his home and office as "disgraceful" and a "total witch hunt." But the president changed his tune when it surfaced that Cohen was cooperating with the feds - he called his former lawyer and longtime fixer a "rat," a term commonly used by Mafia bosses to describe former loyalists who flip on them.

Cohen postponed his congressional testimony in early 2019; his legal team cited "ongoing threats against his family from President Trump" and Rudy Giuliani. Trump had repeatedly tweeted that Cohen's father-in-law should be investigated, a statement Cohen's lawyer and some Democratic lawmakers interpreted as witness intimidation.

Cohen was moved from prison to home confinement in May 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic but was abruptly transferred back to prison two months later. He moved to sue the Federal Bureau of Prisons over the transfer in July, alleging that the Justice Department illegally moved him back to prison and ordered him not to talk to the media in an effort to stop him from publishing his book.

Last December, he argued that he should be released from home confinement early under the First Step Act, a criminal-justice-reform bill that Trump signed into law in 2018. But prosecutors said in March that Cohen should serve the rest of his sentence in home confinement.

The former lawyer said he was "frustrated" and "exhausted" but looked forward to being released on November 22.

Asked about the first thing he'd do after completing his sentence, Cohen joked, "Go to Disneyland."

"In all honesty, I don't know," he said. "In 60 days I have to rebuild my life, which is not easy when you're 55 years old."

That said, Cohen has begun laying the groundwork for a return to public life. In addition to frequently appearing on cable news to comment on the latest developments in Trumpworld, Cohen launched a podcast, "Mea Culpa," described as part of his effort to "right the wrongs he perpetuated on behalf of his boss."

The podcast's latest episode featured Daniels, whose allegations of an affair with Trump were at the center of Cohen's first guilty plea in 2018.

Once he gets out of home confinement, Cohen will take "Mea Culpa" on a "live national tour" to mark the end of his prison sentence, a press release said. According to the release, Cohen is also going to release an "NFT series of documents signed by Donald J. Trump," including Trump's $130,000 reimbursement check to Cohen for the Daniels hush-money payment.

Read the original article on Business Insider