I watched (most of) the Michael Cohen testimony today on CNN. I even taped the earlier testimony, in case I wanted to go back and watch, for instance, the argument that broke out between a Democrat and a Republican about Donald J. Trump’s racist tendencies. I thought these tendencies had been fairly well established back when the state of New York targeted DJT and his father (Fred) in a sting operation that involved the duo not renting to blacks.
A black couple was told there was “no room in the inn.” Immediately afterwards, a white couple was rented an apartment. This is old news and easily checked out online. There have been plenty of other examples since then, but that would bog down this mention of today’s appearance of Michael Cohen in front of Congress and serve no purpose other than to rehash old news.
I was most put off by Republican Jim Jordan (blue shirt, yellow tie guy) who was extremely hostile and, in a particularly funny moment, tried to introduce an amendment AFTER he had already yielded his time. Then there was Congressman Matt Gaetz who threatened Cohen on Twitter, saying Michael Cohen’s wife was likely to hear about his girlfriends. (Didn’t happen). Gaetz added the rather low comment, “I wonder if she’ll be waiting for you while you’re in prison.” As Seth Meyer said on “Late Night,” “I didn’t think anyone could out-sleaze Trump on Twitter, but you did it, my friend.”
There was talk of whether Michael Cohen wanted a job in the White House. Meyer said, “Well, that would have been a solid source of income for weeks.” I was instantly reminded of General Kelly, face buried in palm for weeks, saying, “This is the worst job I ever had.”
THINGS WE LEARNED TODAY:
1)Michael Cohen testified that Trump knew that Roger Stone was talking with Julian Assange of WikiLeaks.
2) Michael Cohen testified that Trump knew about the leaked Democratic documents from the DNC.
3) Michael Cohen expressed contrition and (hopefully genuine) remorse and endured a great deal of unattractive, immature bashing from the Republicans in the hall.
Seth Meyer showed a picture of DJT in Vietnam for his “summit” with North Korean’s Kim Jung Un and made the comment, “Trump finally went to Vietnam, but he’s getting killed back home.” For those of you who have been living under a rock, this was a reference to the bogus bone spurs that Trump used as his excuse to avoid active military service in Vietnam during the Vietnam War.
4) Michael Cohen told the assembled Congressmen and women: “He (DJT) had no desire or intention to lead this country, only to market himself.”
Michael Cohen went on to talk about Trump’s goals when he began running for President and even shared that he was the one responsible for setting up a website to explore a potential run, early on. According to Michael Cohen, 5) “Donald J. Trump ran for office to market his brand and to increase his power. He would often say, ‘This campaign is going to be a great info-mercial.’
Added Seth Meyer, “like most things on infomercials, it turned out to be much crappier than it looked on TV.”
6) Michael Cohen spoke about the Trump Tower Meeting, specifically, Donald Trump, Jr. coming in and walking behind DJT’s desk and speaking to his father. Said Cohen, “What struck me as I look back was that DJT had frequently had told me his son Don, Jr., had the worst judgment in the world.” Meyer said, “That’s saying a lot when he claims his son is even dumber than he is, because he’s as dumb as a box of rocks.” (Ouch!)
Then came a close-up look at Paul Gosar (R, AZ), whose own siblings took out ads endorsing his opponent in 2018. A dentist from Arizona, he couldn’t get his statement out before his time expired, but he came with a giant poster that bore a picture of Cohen with the words, “Liar! Liar! Pants on fire!” What struck me was that he could simply put Trump’s face over Cohen’s and it could become a permanent fixture of any televised appearance by Agent Orange in the future, since Trump has told well over 9,000 verifiable lies since assuming office.
Louisiana Congressman Clay Higgins (R, LA) was highlighted, saying, “I didn’t know who you were until today really.” He also likened Cohen to “many of the thousands of men I arrested” saying he doubted the sincerity of all of the criminals he had apprehended, who claimed remorse after their arrest. Higgins’ accusation was that Cohen was angling to get a TV show from his appearance this day.
7) Cohen replied, rather calmly, “Mr. Higgins, “I’ve been on TV representing Mr. Trump since 2011.”
As Seth Meyer said, “He looks like the kind of guy who’d say, ‘Well, I don’t have a TV set. I get all my news from a gossip-y alligator.” The writers also compared Jim Jordan’s rapid-fire staccato outburst of names of individuals who were currently accused of being less than forthcoming (Jim Comey was one) as “Like a Fox News version of ‘We Didn’t Start the Fire!'” Meyer was right; the entire outburst was like a small child on the playground.
Actually, nearly all of the Republican questioners of Michael Cohen, the sad-eyed beagle amongst them, came off that way. Their chief purpose was not to elicit information. They don’t seem to care if Trump is a petty or a major criminal, but only whether they will remain in power.
8) It seems quite sad that they are completely indifferent as to whether or not the Chief Executive (the guy with his finger on the nuclear button) might be a traitor (a “useful idiot”) or in bed with the Russians or maybe just a petty small-time criminal who used money from his (so-called) cancer charity to pay for a portrait of himself and cheated on his taxes every chance he got. [Constitution? What Constitution! Pshaw! Ain’t no big deal!]
As Meyer concluded, the hearings merely showed ” that Republicans are supporting Trump despite the fact that there is still so much to learn about him.”