President Donald Trump, in a trio of early morning tweets, attacked New York Times journalist Maggie Haberman and a story she wrote indicating that the president and his advisers are concerned that his attorney, Michael Cohen, could decide to cooperate with federal investigators.
Trump started the messages by commenting that the Times and a "third-rate reporter named Maggie Habberman (SIC)" who he has nothing to do with "are going out of their way to "destroy Cohen and his relationship with me" out of hopes that he'll "flip."
He continued by accusing Haberman and the Times of using "non-existant 'sources' and a drunk/drugged up loser who hates Michael, a fine person with a wonderful family," and Habemran herself of being a "
Trump described Cohen, whose offices, hotel room and home were raided by the FBI on April 9, as being a "businessman for his own account/lawyer who I have always liked & respected."
He acknowledged that "most people" will "flip if the Government lets them out of trouble," even if it means "lying or making up stories" but he does not see Cohen doing that, "despite the horrible Witch Hunt and the dishonest media!"
Haberman responded with a tweet poking fun at the president for misspelling her name.
"One B, sir (or Dan?)," she said.
"Here’s the story that seems to have touched a nerve."
After that, the original tweets were pulled down momentarily, while Haberman's name was corrected.
Haberman reports on the White House for the Times and has covered Trump since his days a businessman in New York. Trump says in the tweets that he doesn't speak to Haberman, but the president purportedly has called her directly about big stories regarding his administration.
The newspaper sent a tweet saying it was "extremely proud" of Haberman, praising her for being part of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize.
On Friday, the Times reported that Trump's attorneys and advisers are "resigned" to the possibility that Cohen will cooperate, as he has a wife and two children and faces huge legal fees and possiblity criminal charges.
The story also claims that Trump has treated Cohen badly for years and has threatened to fire him, quoting interviews with a half-dozen people purportedly familiar with the relationship between the two men.
“Donald goes out of his way to treat him like garbage,” Roger Stone, described as an "informal" political adviser for Trump, told The Times.
Another source, former Trump aide Sam Nunberg, said that Cohen now holds leverage over Trump and should "maximize" that.
“The softer side of the president genuinely has an affection for Michael,” Nunberg said, but "the president has also taken Michael for granted...whenever anyone complains to me about Trump screwing them over, my reflexive response is that person has nothing to complain about compared to Michael.”
The Times reports that Trump and Cohen have spoken little since the raid, although the president did call Cohen four days after the raid, and that the attorney feels isolated following the raid.
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