He’s known as the protector, the pit bull and the president’s fixer.
He was a personal injury attorney who was not afraid of confrontation, and who, at times, presented his side of the argument while threatening a lawsuit.
Michael Cohen says he idolized Donald Trump growing up and modeled his early businesses ventures after those of the real estate mogul-turned-president. Trump's son gave Cohen the opportunity to work for the man himself in 2006.
Friends and foes alike say Trump admires Cohen’s loyalty, which is why Cohen is his go-to guy to take care of situations that disrupt his business, and, lately, his personal life.
Cohen once told ABC News that, "If somebody does something Mr. Trump doesn't like, I do everything in my power to resolve it to Mr. Trump's benefit. If you do something wrong, I'm going to come at you, grab you by the neck, and I'm not going to let you go until I'm finished."
According to a story in The New York Times, Cohen has a Midas touch for real estate, much like, or maybe with the help of, Trump. One day in 2014, a Times story reads, "he (Cohen) sold four buildings in Manhattan for $32 million, entirely in cash. That was nearly three times what he paid for them no more than three years earlier."
Who is Cohen and how did he come to be known as Trump’s fixer? Here are a few things you may not have known about Cohen.
- He was born and grew up in Long Island, New York. He is 51.
- He has a law degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Michigan.
- He was a personal injury attorney early in his career.
- He has been a registered Democrat and a registered Republican.
- His father survived the Holocaust.
- He was a volunteer for the 1988 presidential campaign of Michael Dukakis.
- He voted for Barack Obama in 2008.
- He is known for his combative style.
- He has had contentious exchanges with journalists. Watch his exchange with Briana Keilar, of CNN.
- Those around Trump say the president is close to Cohen, considering him as family.
- Cohen acknowledged paying $130,000 to Stephanie Clifford in October 2016. Cohen called the payment a "private transaction."
- Cohen said he spoke to the Federal Election Commission about the payment after a complaint was filed by Common Cause, a government watchdog group. Common Cause claims the payment was an in-kind contribution to the Trump campaign. Cohen denies the claim.
- The New York Times has reported that Cohen carries a licensed pistol in an ankle holster.
- He has connections to Ukraine. He is married to a Ukrainian.
- In 2006, Donald Trump Jr. got Cohen his job in the Trump Organization. He eventually served as co-president of Trump Entertainment.
- On April 3, 2017, Cohen was appointed a national deputy finance chairman of the Republican National Committee.
Credit: Seth Wenig
Credit: Seth Wenig
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