Michael Cohen is becoming an outcast within the Trump administration.
The Daily Beast reported on Monday that several Trump administration figures have taken pains to avoid talking to and about Cohen since his controversy over a six-figure payment to silence President Trump’s alleged mistress during the 2016 campaign grew into a larger scandal surrounding his offer of White House access to corporate clients with business before the federal government.
Cohen’s lawyer, David Schwartz, continues to also serve as his spokesman, but his TV appearances have receded since late March after he declared with “100 percent” certainty that the president had not reimbursed Cohen for a $130,000 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels. He later refuted the claim, as the president confirmed that that was not the case.
Senior White House officials continue to dodge Cohen-related questions in interviews, instead referring related questions to attorneys representing Cohen and Trump. Two prominent allies of the president, who also know Cohen well, told The Daily Beast they’ve begun ignoring or declining requests from cable news bookers to discuss Cohen on-air. “It’s time to keep a distance,” one of these people said.
Numerous other Trump associates, veterans of the 2016 campaign and White House surrogates said they’re avoiding any phone contact with Cohen out of concern that his line might be tapped, and that direct interaction could involve them in the scandal.
The feds, Trump allies say, are treating Cohen as if he were a sketchy mafia lawyer. The White House wants nothing to do with him, and begrudges him for imperiling the Trump presidency with his antics (whether sanctioned by Trump or not). The president, according to the Daily Beast, remains privately skeptical that Cohen won’t end up turning state’s witness on him due to the threat of serious jail time.