Among the many luminaries of the Trump administration, one person has emerged as a globetrotting man of mystery, carrying out top-secret diplomatic missions for his boss – Michael Cohen, formerly Trump’s personal lawyer and now consigliere-without-portfolio to the White House.
The Backward has obtained fragmentary transcripts of Cohen’s delicate missions, opening a window onto his inimitable diplomatic style.
[A luxury apartment in Kiev, Ukraine, decorated in the sleek, modern style of an oligarch. Cohen sits opposite his counterpart, known only as Mr. S.]
MR. S: You understand, Mr. Cohen, that for reasons of anonymity, I prefer that you call me Mr. S.
COHEN: What kind of a name is Mr. S? Is that Ukrainian?
MR. S: It is a pseudonym. [Sees Cohen’s confusion.] It’s not a real name.
COHEN: OK. So what’s your real name?
MR. S: I just explained to you – I cannot give you my real name.
COHEN: Alright. Then I won’t tell you my client’s name. I’ll just call him Donald T. No, Mr. T. No, wait – President T.
MR. S: Fine, fine. What will you have, coffee or tea?
COHEN: Oh. Uh, tea.
MR. S: Would you like anything in your tea? Milk? Lemon?
MR. S: You want milk and lemon together?
[Mr. S shrugs.]
[Servant pours the tea. Pours in milk. Squeezes in a lemon — milk curdles.]
[Cohen drinks the tea, spits out.]
COHEN: Hey — this milk has gone bad!
[A public park in Odessa. Cohen sits on a bench. A man in a trench coat sits at the other side of the bench. He surreptitiously slides a sealed envelope across the bench to Cohen.]
TRENCH COAT (quietly): These are top-secret documents for your client. The future of Europe, maybe even the world may depend on –
[Cohen nods. He starts to tear open the envelope.]
TRENCH COAT: What are you doing?! Those are top secret!
COHEN: What? I’m not gonna tell anyone.
[He starts to read, squints at a word. He flags down a passer-by.]
COHEN: ‘Scuse me – what’s this word say?
PASSER-BY: It says, “Michael Cohen.”
[JFK Airport, baggage claim. Anderson Cooper is there with a camera crew.]
COOPER: Mr. Cohen what were you doing in the Ukraine? Was this a mission for the president?
COHEN: I wasn’t in Ukraine.
COOPER: Yes you were.
COHEN: Says who?
COOPER: You just got off a plane from the Ukraine and you’ve been Instagramming your entire trip.
COOPER: What’s that in your hand?
COHEN: I’m not telling you about this Top Secret Peace Plan because it’s none of your business. And if you print that I’ll sue you.
COOPER: We’re on live television.