NEW YORK (Reuters) – President Donald Trump and his former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, have both used Twitter to spar with enemies over the last decade. Cohen, 52, is due to report to federal prison in New York state on Monday to begin serving a three-year sentence for crimes including illegal hush payments to women on Trump’s behalf.
The two men’s Twitter histories trace the deterioration of their relationship, from pledges of loyalty and admiration to open hostility, over the last year as the criminal case against Cohen unfolded.
“Good article: ‘What Happened to American Men’ from @Newsmax by Michael Cohen” – Trump on Aug. 1, 2012, promoting an article Cohen wrote endorsing Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
“Did my duty, stood on a 2 plus hour line and voted for @realDonaldTrump! #MAGA #TrumpPence16” -Cohen on Nov. 8, 2016 – Election Day – captioning a photo of himself.
“Thank you @nytimes for front page profile and using good pictures of me. I will always proudly and fiercely defend my boss, friend and our @POTUS @realDonaldTrump against those who raise false accusations against him and the family. #PresidentsDay2018” – Cohen on Feb. 19, 2018, linking to a New York Times profile describing him as Trump’s “fixer” and “loyal defender.”
“I will always protect our @POTUS @realDonaldTrump #MAGA” – Cohen on April 8, 2018, the day before authorities raided his office and hotel room.
“The New York Times and a third rate reporter named Maggie Haberman, known as a Crooked H flunkie who I don’t speak to and have nothing to do with, are going out of their way to destroy Michael Cohen and his relationship with me in the hope that he will ‘flip.’ They use non-existent ‘sources’ and a drunk/drugged up loser who hates Michael, a fine person with a wonderful family.”
“Michael is a businessman for his own account/lawyer who I have always liked & respected. Most people will flip if the Government lets them out of trouble, even if it means lying or making up stories.”
“Sorry, I don’t see Michael doing that despite the horrible Witch Hunt and the dishonest media!” – Trump on April 21, 2018, in a series of three tweets posted the day after the New York Times published an article about the “strong possibility” that Cohen would cooperate with prosecutors.
“If anyone is looking for a good lawyer, I would strongly suggest that you don’t retain the services of Michael Cohen!” – Trump on Aug. 22, 2018, the day after Cohen pleaded guilty to campaign finance crimes implicating Trump.
“I feel very badly for Paul Manafort and his wonderful family. ‘Justice’ took a 12 year old tax case, among other things, applied tremendous pressure on him and, unlike Michael Cohen, he refused to ‘break’ – make up stories in order to get a ‘deal.’ Such respect for a brave man! – Trump, the same day, contrasting Cohen with his former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, who had not yet pleaded guilty to federal charges.
“Those charges were just agreed to by him in order to embarrass the president and get a much reduced prison sentence, which he did-including the fact that his family was temporarily let off the hook. As a lawyer, Michael has great liability to me!” – Trump on Dec. 13, 2018, the day after Cohen was sentenced.
“As for the @WSJ article on poll rigging, what I did was at the direction of and for the sole benefit of @realDonaldTrump @POTUS. I truly regret my blind loyalty to a man who doesn’t deserve it.” – Michael Cohen on Jan. 17, the day the Wall Street Journal reported that Cohen hired a technology firm to rig early polls in the Republican nominating contest to favor Trump.
“Bad lawyer and fraudster Michael Cohen said under sworn testimony that he never asked for a Pardon. His lawyers totally contradicted him. He lied! Additionally, he directly asked me for a pardon. I said NO. He lied again! He also badly wanted to work at the White House. He lied!” – Trump on March 8, the day after reports that Cohen had sought a pardon after he was raided.
“Just another set of lies by @POTUS @realdonaldtrump. Mr. President…let me remind you that today is #InternationalWomensDay. You may want use today to apologize for your own #lies and #DirtyDeeds to women like Karen McDougal and Stephanie Clifford.” – Cohen, half an hour later, referring to the two women he said he paid off at Trump’s direction.
(Reporting By Brendan Pierson in New York; Editing by Noeleen Walder and Jonathan Oatis)