Trump's Disgraced Former Lawyer Calls Him 'Cult Leader' During Interview About New Tell-All

Michael Cohen just released a scathing memoir about working for Donald Trump

Michael Cohen
Michael Cohen on NBC Nightly News. Photo: NBC News

Donald Trump's former attorney Michael Cohen told NBC News in a new interview that he believes the president is a "cult leader" who would do "anything and everything" to win a second term in office.

"In the book, obviously, I describe Mr. Trump as a cult leader and I was in this cult," Cohen told NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt, in an interview that will air later on Tuesday.

"So, one of the purposes of writing the book is really from one former cult member to the current ones," said Cohen, 54. "I've said this before, and I'll say it again: Open your eyes as I have. And I want you to appreciate that Donald Trump cares for no one or anything other than himself."

Cohen sat down with Holt to about his new book, Disloyal, which documents his time working for Trump, 74, and was released on Tuesday — to swift condemnation from the White House.

The memoir is filled with damning claims that describe Trump as a racist, mob boss-like figure who only cares for his own interests, while Cohen has spoken out against his former boss ahead of the book's release.

In the book, Cohen describes Trump as "a cheat, a liar, a fraud, a bully, a racist, a predator, a con man."

The White House dismissed his memoir as an "attempt to profit off of lies" and called Cohen "a disgraced felon and disbarred lawyer" who "lost all credibility."

Former Trump Lawyer Michael Cohen Released from Prison
Michael Cohen arrives back at his New York City apartment Thursday morning after being released from federal prison. He will serve the remainder of his three-year sentence from home, a spokesperson tells PEOPLE. JUSTIN LANE/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

During the NBC Nightly News interview, Cohen warned that he believes Trump would go to desperate lengths to win a second term in the Nov. 3 election against Democratic rival Joe Biden.

"Donald Trump will do anything and everything within which to win," Cohen said, "And I believe that includes manipulating the ballots."

He adds: "I believe that he would even go so far as to start a war in order to prevent himself from being removed from office. My biggest fear is that there will not be a peaceful transition of power in 2020."

Former Trump Lawyer Michael Cohen Appears Before Closed Senate Intelligence Committee
Former Trump attorney Michael Cohen. Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Cohen was sentenced to three years in federal prison in December 2018 after pleading guilty to crimes including tax evasion, lying to Congress about Trump’s prior business dealings with Russia and “hush money” he paid during the 2016 presidential election to buy the silence of porn star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy playmate Karen McDougal — who both claim they had affairs with Trump, which he denies.

With his new book, Trump's longtime attorney provided new details about his handling of financial payments while also alleging a handful of previously unreported racist remarks by the controversial president — including comments about Black world leaders like former President Barack Obama and South African President Nelson Mandela as well as disparagement of Black and Hispanic voters.

“As a rule, Trump expressed low opinions of all Black folks, from music to culture and politics,” Cohen writes in the book, according to The New York Times.

During the interview airing Tuesday night, Cohen also commented on a recent report from The Atlantic which cites firsthand sources that Trump called U.S. soldiers killed in combat "losers" and "suckers" during a 2018 trip to France, when he canceled a visit to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery near Paris. (The White House vigorously disputed this as well.)

"I mean, who could possibly accept this?" Cohen said on NBC. "But when you're in the Trump cult, you have no choice but to accept it."

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