Prior to tweeting his condolences to the Bush family, the president took a moment on Twitter this morning to flip out at New York Times White House correspondent Maggie Haberman, who co-reported yesterday that Trump treats his gormless attorney, fixer, and fall-guy Michael Cohen like absolute garbage.
“Donald goes out of his way to treat him like garbage,” former Trump campaign advisor Roger Stone literally told the paper.
The report is a sweet helping of schadenfreude for a number of reasons: its sources like Stone and former aide Sam Nunberg indicate a track record of ex-loyalists turning on Trump by telling the media that Trump has serially abused one of the few remaining loyalists he can’t afford to lose. Cohen has claimed that he personally paid Stormy Daniels $130,000 without Donald Trump’s knowledge, which is obviously crazy but also could be construed as an illegal in-kind donation to influence the election. Cohen even reportedly personally apologized to Melania for the Stormy Daniels payment. He famously told Vanity Fair last year that “I’m the guy who would take a bullet for the president.” That day has arrived, as his offices have been raided by the FBI, revealing untold troves of information on arrangements (business and otherwise) dating back years before the campaign.
The Times piece–titled “Michael Cohen Has Said He Would Take a Bullet for Trump. Maybe Not Anymore.”–effectively asks how much public humiliation Michael Cohen can take. And what follows is a detailed account of public humiliation:
Some of Mr. Cohen’s efforts to help only led to embarrassing rebuffs in front of those in charge. A month before the election, Mr. Cohen approached Mr. Trump outside his Trump Tower office with photographs of Bill Clinton and a mixed-race man alleged — without any evidence — to be the former president’s illegitimate son. Mr. Trump knocked the papers away, angrily telling Mr. Cohen to “get that out of my face,” said one former campaign official who witnessed the incident.
Particularly hurtful to Mr. Cohen was the way Mr. Trump lavished approval on Mr. Lewandowski in a way he never did for Mr. Cohen. When Mr. Cohen told Mr. Trump that he believed that Mr. Lewandowski had been behind a negative story about Mr. Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, Mr. Trump dismissed the comments as simple jealousy, and didn’t pay attention, according to two people familiar with the incident.
In the Twitter attack, Trump targets Haberman–curiously, because she shares a byline with two other journalists. He says he “doesn’t speak to and ha[s] nothing to do with” her, despite widely-tweeted photo evidence to the contrary.
Maggie Haberman is now reporting that the “drunk/drugged up loser who hates Michael” is former aide Sam Nunberg, as Trump has feared Roger Stone “for years.” Nunberg is quoted in the piece as saying “whenever anyone complains to me about Trump screwing them over, my reflexive response is that person has nothing to complain about compared to Michael.”