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Michael Cohen Completely Throws Trump Under Bus in Hush-Money Trial

The key witness in Donald Trump’s hush-money trial has taken the stand.

Michael Coen walks as photographers in the background capture photos of him
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Michael Cohen has not held back while testifying against his former boss Donald Trump.

Trump’s ex-fixer and attorney took the stand Monday in the former president’s hush-money trial in Manhattan and proceeded to show in great detail some very strong evidence against the former president.

Cohen told the court that he overheard Trump’s conversation with former tabloid magnate David Pecker about paying to suppress a story that Trump had an affair with former Playboy model Karen McDougal, debunking Trump’s assertions that he has no knowledge of any such payments.

Cohen also testified that he directly discussed an agreement to pay off McDougal with Trump, who was very happy to hear when it was finalized.

Early on in the trial, Cohen provided secret recordings of the former president discussing the financial particulars of the hush-money payments at the center of the case, showing the extent of Trump’s involvement in suppressing negative stories about himself in advance of the 2016 election. On Monday, Cohen authenticated one such recording regarding the payments to McDougal.

Cohen’s testimony has been eagerly anticipated by Trump’s critics as it could potentially damage the former president more than that of the other witnesses in the hush-money trial, as Cohen carried out the alleged hush-money payments on Trump’s behalf. Earlier in his testimony on Monday, Cohen testified that Trump didn’t use or have an email address out of fear that emails could provide documented evidence against him. Cohen’s testimony shows that such evidence existed in other forms anyway.

Trump faces 34 felony charges in the hush-money case for allegedly falsifying business records with the intent to further an underlying crime for the payments, and has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Michael Cohen Says Trump Warned Him About This Creepy, Horrific Detail

Trump worried “a lot of women” would want to share negative stories about him.

Donald Trump looks forward
Steven Hirsch/Pool/Getty Images

Around the start of his 2016 campaign for president, Donald Trump warned his closest advisors that there would be a tidal wave of negative stories coming out about him—especially from women, his former fixer Michael Cohen said Monday.

While on the stand in Trump’s hush-money trial, Cohen recalled a revealing conversation he had with Trump just before he announced his campaign, in which the former reality TV star warned him that they could see a spike in sexual assault allegations.

“You know that when this comes out, meaning the announcement, just be prepared, there’s going to be a lot of women coming forward,” Cohen said Trump told him at the time.

And come forward they did. At least 26 women have accused Trump of touching them inappropriately, with some accounts dating back decades. Several have come forward into the public eye to advance their allegations against the three-time GOP presidential nominee, often risking the ire and relentless harassment of Trump’s cult-like following.

Yet just a couple have found relative success in holding him accountable. Writer E. Jean Carroll was the first woman whose case against Trump made it to a courtroom. She won big against Trump last May when a jury unanimously found him liable for sexually abusing and defaming her, awarding her $5 million in damages, and again in January when another jury decided he owed her $83.3 million for defaming her a separate time.

But her justice still hangs in the air. Trump has posted a $92 million bond to appeal the ruling, while Carroll has become a villain in Trumpworld, suffering relentless online vitriol slung by his frenetic base.

Trump has issued individual and blanket denials to the abuse allegations, often claiming that the women were paid to lie about the stories. Meanwhile, Trump was reportedly paying women including porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal to stay silent about their sexual encounters.

Daniels is the only other woman to testify against Trump in a court. She gave bombshell testimony last week about her relationship with the former president and the payment she received to keep quiet about it. In fact, some of Trump’s other accusers have been contacting each other in light of Daniels’s testimony, discussing how much they related to her story.

Trump is accused of using Cohen to sweep an affair with Daniels under the rug ahead of the 2016 presidential election. The Republican presidential nominee faces 34 felony charges in this case for allegedly falsifying business records with the intent to further an underlying crime. Trump has pleaded not guilty on all counts.

Read about one of the women who has come forward:

Michael Cohen Reveals Totally Normal Reason Trump Never Had an Email

Trump’s former fixer is taking the stand in his hush-money trial and exposing everything.

Michael Cohen
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Donald Trump doesn’t have an email address—because they’re just like a paper trail, says his former attorney and fixer Michael Cohen.

Cohen was called to the witness stand Monday morning in Trump’s hush-money trial in Manhattan, and he quickly revealed the damaging details about how Trump viewed emails.

“Mr. Trump never had an email address,” Cohen said. He quoted Trump saying to him that “emails are like written papers. There are too many people who have gone down” because “prosecutors” had access to their emails.

Words like these are not how innocent people speak regularly, and this kind of revelation does not portend well for Trump for the rest of Cohen’s testimony, which has been eagerly awaited by Trump critics for its potential to be some of the most damaging to the former president.

Cohen allegedly made payments to adult film actress Stormy Daniels on Trump’s behalf to cover up their affair so it wouldn’t damage his run for president in 2016. Cohen has since cooperated with prosecutors not just in the hush-money trial but also spent more than 50 hours talking to investigators for special counsel Robert Mueller’s Trump investigation. Earlier in the hush-money trial, Cohen provided evidence that possibly destroyed Trump’s defense in the form of secretly recorded conversations of the former president showing that he had detailed knowledge of the payments to Daniels. Trump faces 34 felony charges in the hush-money case for allegedly falsifying business records with the intent to further an underlying crime for the payments, and has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Cohen has made no secret of now holding disdain for his ex-boss, calling him “Von ShitzInPantz”and a “racist jackass who referred to African nations as ‘shithole countries.’” Trump is stewing over a gag order preventing him from attacking Cohen and other witnesses in the case, as well as court staff and their families.

Michael Cohen Says He Lied for Trump … and That’s Not the Worst of It

Trump’s former fixer reveals the extreme lengths he went to over the course of his job.

Michael Cohen walks
Yuki Iwamura/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Donald Trump’s former fixer Michael Cohen testified Monday that he regularly bullied and harassed people who posed a threat to his boss’s ambitions—and his efforts were all rewarded.

While on the stand in Trump’s hush-money trial, Cohen admitted that completing “the task” was the only thing that mattered while working for Trump, specifying that lying for him “was needed” and that bullying Trump’s opposition was also sometimes necessary “in order to accomplish the task.”

“The only thing that was on my mind was to accomplish the task to make him happy,” Cohen said, adding that he was rewarded for the aggressive behavior by being given more power in Trump’s organization, including through job titles and seats.

Cohen described Trump as a “micromanager” who was aware of his every move and said that the pair spoke “every single day, and multiple times a day.” Other times, Cohen would communicate with Trump via one of his other close confidants, including his former assistant Rhona Graff, Trump Organization employee turned director of Oval Office Operations Keith Schiller, Trump’s children, or Hope Hicks.

Those admissions are not good for Trump’s legal team, who have attempted to frame the former president as an individual completely unaware of the behind-the-scenes actions intended to clean up his public profile ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

Earlier this month, Hicks testified under subpoena that Trump understood it was prudent to bury the hush-money scandal before the election—even after Trump claimed he had no knowledge of the hush-money payments.

“Mr. Trump’s opinion was that it was better to be dealing with it now and it would’ve been bad to have that story come out before the election,” Hicks said.

Trump is accused of using Cohen to sweep an affair with porn star Stormy Daniels under the rug ahead of the 2016 presidential election. The Republican presidential nominee faces 34 felony charges in this case for allegedly falsifying business records with the intent to further an underlying crime. Trump has pleaded not guilty on all counts.

Idiot Trump Attacks Whoopi Goldberg for Unsurprising Reason

Donald Trump is losing it as a key witness is set to take the stand in his hush-money trial.

Donald Trump and Whoopi Goldberg splitscreen
Getty x2

Trump found time on the night before his hush-money trial resumes to attack Whoopi Goldberg, of all people.

At 1:36 a.m. Monday, Trump reposted an altered image of Goldberg on Truth Social from a user, whose original caption was “I’m moving to Canada for sure this time!”

Trump added “Canada doesn’t want you Whoopi, NOBODY DOES!!!” to his repost.

With his trial starting bright and early Monday morning, why the former president felt the need to take a shot at a co-host of ABC’s The View, is anyone’s guess. The last time Goldberg took a shot at Trump on the show was late last month, when she called out the former president’s fixation on “anti-white racism.”

Perhaps the former president is feeling constrained by his gag order that prevents him from attacking court staff, the case’s witness, or their families. He took the bizarre step of praising fictional serial psychopath and serial killer Hannibal Lecter at a rally over the weekend as well, so could it be the latest example of his cognitive decline? He also might still be smarting over adult film actress Stormy Daniels’s damaging testimony last week, which included salacious and unflattering details about him. Or maybe he’s angry because the star witness on Monday is his former fixer and attorney Michael Cohen, who could have some of the most damaging testimony against the former president so far.

Cohen has direct knowledge of the allegations against Trump, as he allegedly carried out the hush-money payments to adult film actress Stormy Daniels that are at the center of the case. He has also called Trump “Von ShitzInPantz” as well as a “racist jackass who referred to African nations as ‘shithole countries.’” Trump faces 34 felony charges for allegedly falsifying business records with the intent to further an underlying crime for paying off Daniels to cover up their affair ahead of the 2016 presidential election. He has pleaded not guilty.

Lindsey Graham Reveals Outrageous Position on Election Results

Top Republicans are putting conditions on accepting the outcome of the election in November.

Donald Trump points and wears a MAGA hat
Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Republicans apparently haven’t cast aside the possibility of overturning another election.

At least two top GOP lawmakers have felt the need to add caveats to statements affirming that they’ll embrace the outcome come November, including the former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Lindsey Graham.

“Will you accept the results of the 2024 election no matter who wins?” prompted MSNBC’s Meet the Press host Kristen Welker on Sunday.

“Yeah, I’ll accept them if there’s no massive cheating,” Graham said. In the same breath, Graham specified that he “accepted 2020” as a measure of his commitment to accepting election outcomes, even though he clearly hasn’t let go of the outcome enough not to buy in a little to his party’s election interference scandal.

Meanwhile, Ohio Senator J.D. Vance fully committed to accepting the results of the general election—so long as Trump is the victor.

“Look Dana, I fully commit to accept the results of 2024. I think that Donald Trump will be the victory,” Vance told CNN’s Dana Bash. “If it’s a free and fair election, Dana, I think every Republican will enthusiastically accept the results. And again, I think that those results will show that Donald Trump will be reelected president.”

Conservatives have insisted—without evidence—that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump since he refused to concede to President Joe Biden’s victory. The scandal resulted in a slew of criminal charges for Trump and his allies in their efforts to undermine elections in swing states such as Arizona and Georgia. Simultaneously, news outlets that aired the baseless allegations, including Fox News and Newsmax, are under the gun for historic defamation lawsuits by voting machine companies. The gamut of lies has been thoroughly debunked, but Republicans attempting to curry favor with the presumptive GOP presidential nominee continue to double down on it.

Texas Top Court Has Horrific Judgment Over Failed Reproductive Surgery

The Texas Supreme Court told a woman she could not collect financial damages over her doctor’s negligence.

A pro-reproductive rights protester stands outside the Texas Supreme Court
Suzanne Cordeiro/AFP/Getty Images
A pro-reproductive rights protester stands outside the Texas Supreme Court building in Austin on June 24, 2022.

The Texas Supreme Court ruled Friday that an El Paso woman who gave birth despite supposedly receiving a tubal ligation can’t sue her medical provider because “society views a healthy child’s arrival as a net boon and a gift.”

The nine-member court, whose members are all Republican, ruled unanimously that Grissel Velasco could not seek damages from Dr. Michiel Noe and his medical practice, Sun City Women’s Health Care, for medical expenses, physical and mental harms, and the costs of raising her now 8-year-old girl.

“Texas law does not regard a healthy child as an injury for which a parent must be compensated but, rather, as a life with inherent dignity and profound, immeasurable value,” wrote Justice Rebeca Huddle.

Screenshot of a tweet

Under Texas law, a parent could only recover damages, such as medical expenses, from during the pregnancy, delivery, and afterward—nothing more, Huddle said.

Huddle cited the fact that Noe had reimbursed Velasco $400 for the cost of the tubal ligation, a sterilization procedure in which a woman’s fallopian tubes are cut and tied to prevent pregnancy, and that her pregnancy was covered by the federal Children’s Health Insurance Program.

Velasco’s lawyer, Jose Lopez, said in a statement that the ruling had “taken away a patient’s voice and choice and has immunized the negligent doctor from civil liability.”

The ruling fits right along with Texas’s extreme laws on abortion, which include a near-total ban passed in 2021. Last summer, a group of women sued the state over the law and one woman vomited while telling the story of how she was forced to give birth to a baby that died shortly after delivery.

Anti-abortion activists in the state want to execute women and minors who seek abortions or in-vitro fertilization. And the state’s attorney general, Ken Paxton, has threatened to prosecute doctors and hospitals for carrying out abortions, even if a court orders one out of health concerns. All of this seems to indicate a forced birth-or-else policy in the state.

Read about the state of reproductive health in Texas:

Kristi Noem Got Herself Banned From Parts of Her Own State

Five of South Dakota’s Indigenous tribes are imposing a hilarious penalty on the governor.

Kristi Noem looks forward
John Lamparski/Getty Images

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem is no longer welcome in 16 percent of her home state.

The MAGA Republican has been banned from the territories of five of the nine Sioux tribes in her state for derogatory comments she made at a town hall in March, accusing the community of failing their children.

“Because they live with 80 percent to 90 percent unemployment,” Noem said at the time. “Their kids don’t have any hope. They don’t have parents who show up and help them. They have a tribal council or a president who focuses on a political agenda more than they care about actually helping somebody’s life look better.”

On Tuesday, the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate Tribe became the fifth tribe to pass a resolution barring Noem. They join similar actions taken by the Oglala, Cheyenne River, Standing Rock, and Rosebud Sioux tribes, which have so far banned the state’s executive leader from 13,000 square miles of land—approximately 90 percent of the state’s Indigenous-owned territory.

“As tribal leaders, it is our duty to honor the voice or the wishes of our people, and that’s who we work on the behalf of,” Sisseton Tribal Chairman J. Garrett Renville told local station KELO. “The people at this time would like that in place until there was a formal apology.”

Native tribes have had a strained relationship with Noem since she took office in 2019. Since then, Noem and South Dakota’s Indigenous population have disagreed over the construction of the XL Keystone pipeline and the removal of Native American histories from South Dakota’s education standards. Noem also violated the tribes’ sovereignty during the Covid-19 pandemic, undermining tribal efforts to enact lockdowns and quarantine zones while the state’s infection count skyrocketed.

“Governor Noem claims she wants to establish meaningful relationships with Tribes to provide solutions for systemic problems. However, her actions as Governor blatantly show otherwise,” the Rosebud Sioux Tribe said in a news release in April after issuing their own ban.

Noem doesn’t seem to have a lot of backers in her corner anymore. The South Dakota governor alienated millions of Americans when she revealed in her latest book, No Going Back, that she shot and killed her puppy. Some of the people disgusted with the canine execution included some of her strongest allies, including Donald Trump, who has reportedly removed Noem from his shortlist of candidates to become his vice president over the anecdote.

Trump Allies Have a Horror Movie Plan to Clear Out Death Row Prisoners

The infamous Project 2025 includes a plan to purge prisons.

Donald Trump smiles
Curtis Means/Pool/Getty Images

If Trump wins the 2024 presidential election, Republicans and conservatives want criminals to die—literally. 

Project 2025, a coalition of conservatives and Republicans, released a document last year laying out its policy wish list for all of the government. Hidden deep within the playbook, on page 554, is a plan to execute every inmate on federal death row—and add more criminals to it with the help of the Supreme Court, HuffPost reported Friday. 

Right now, there’s a federal moratorium on executions that was restored shortly after Biden’s election. The Trump administration had ended it in 2019 with the first federal execution in nearly 13 years and the tacit approval of the Supreme Court. The federal government would execute 13 inmates before Trump’s term ended, the most in a single year since 1896. Now it seems the rest of the GOP plans to pick up where the Trump administration left off. 

The next administration should “do everything possible to obtain finality” for every prisoner on federal death row, which currently includes 40 people, says the plan, written by Gene Hamilton,  a former official in Trump’s Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security.

“It should also pursue the death penalty for applicable crimes—particularly heinous crimes involving violence and sexual abuse of children—until Congress says otherwise through legislation,” Hamilton continues, writing in a footnote that this could require a new Supreme Court ruling, “but the [Justice Department] should place a priority on doing so.”

It’s unclear if Trump will strictly abide by this conservative playbook. The fact that he has trouble articulating his plans coherently suggests that it’ll be up to the people he surrounds himself with. If he appoints Cabinet members who are longtime Republican operatives, or even hard-right advisers such as Stephen Miller, it seems likely. 

Here’s Why Trump Keeps Changing His Opinion About TikTok

Allies of the Republican presidential nominee are increasingly involved with the Chinese media industry.

The TikTok logo
Silas Stein/picture alliance/Getty Images

Donald Trump is—once again—trying to backpedal on his opinions about TikTok.

The presumed GOP presidential nominee is trying to argue that it wasn’t conservatives who originally pushed to ban the popular social media platform, but rather President Joe Biden.

“Just so everyone knows, especially the young people, Crooked Joe Biden is responsible for banning TikTok,” Trump wrote on Truth Social, before cooking up a novel conspiracy that Biden is removing American access to the platform in a bid to help one of its social media rivals, Facebook.

“He is the one pushing it to close, and doing it to help his friends over at Facebook become richer and more dominant, and able to continue to fight, perhaps illegally, the Republican Party. It’s called ELECTION INTERFERENCE,” Trump said.

It’s at least the third instance in which Trump has conveniently forgotten how hard he fought during his own administration to ban the Chinese-owned app. Long before Biden signed the effective ban—which is purportedly about national security—into law, Trump attempted to eradicate TikTok via an executive order before he left office in 2020. He claimed that the video-sharing platform “[threatened] the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States.”

And the flipped script comes at an opportune moment for the presidential candidate. Major Republican donor Jeff Yass, whom Trump appears to be courting, reportedly owns a 15 percent stake in TikTok. Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort, who is reportedly trying to rejoin Trump’s team, has new business ties to the Chinese media industry.

Another of Trump’s allies, former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, revealed his own plans to acquire the social media company via an investor group just a day after the ban passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in the House.

“I think the legislation should pass, and I think it should be sold,” Mnuchin told CNBC in March. “It’s a great business, and I’m going to put together a group to buy TikTok.”

ByteDance announced shortly after Biden signed the ban—which gave TikTok an ultimatum to either sell its I.P. to an American owner or stop operating within the U.S.—that the company doesn’t “have any plans to sell.”

Read more about Trump's shifting support: