23:24 GMT +315 November 2019
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    This combination photo shows President Donald Trump and attorney Michael Cohen.

    ‘Love Letter to Trump’: Cohen’s Unearthed Book Pitch Belies Congress Testimony

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    The soon-to-be jailed former Trump lawyer was all about praising 45 in a book he was about to write in 2018. That loving attitude, however, was nowhere to be seen during Cohen’s testimony before Congress earlier this week.

    Michael Cohen, a lawyer who worked for Donald Trump for some 10 years, long before his boss came to the White House, gave testimony this week to the House Oversight Committee. During the hearing, Cohen pulled no punches, calling Trump a "racist," a "conman" and a "cheat."

    Just one year earlier, Cohen reached out to publishers with a pitch for a book, in which he promised to give first-hand insight into Trump, his personality, his business practices and his family. And the offer was oozing with adoration.

    In his January 2018 offer, Cohen stated that Trump is a far cry from being "crazy," "dumb," "paranoid," a "liar," "in over his head" and hateful toward the media, as 45 has been occasionally called by his critics.

    "All of these things have been said about my longtime boss, Donald J. Trump," Cohen wrote, according to The Daily Mail. "None of it is true. Except maybe that last one — about the media. Trump does believe that reporters are out to get him, and for a very good reason. Many of them are. That doesn't make him paranoid, that makes him a realist."

    According to the Daily Mail report, one publisher, Hachette Nashville's subsidiary Center Street, was willing to pay Cohen $750,000 for his revelations, which would have included chapters on Melania Trump and the "unfortunate saga" of Stormy Daniels.

    "Everything he wanted to say about Trump was positive," one executive who discussed the deal with Cohen told The Daily Mail, which obtained the pitch's text exclusively. "Even in our meeting he was glowing with praise for the president."

    This contrasts starkly with Cohen's fierce testimony before the House Oversight Committee earlier this week.

    "Since taking office, he has become the worst version of himself. He is capable of behaving kindly, but he is not kind. He is capable of committing acts of generosity, but he is not generous. He is capable of being loyal, but he is fundamentally disloyal to our nation," Cohen said in his opening statement Wednesday, according to a Fox News report. "I am sorry for actively working to hide from you the truth about Mr. Trump when you needed it most."

    "I am not protecting Mr. Trump anymore," he added. "My loyalty to Mr. Trump has cost me everything: my family's happiness, friendships, my law license, my company, my livelihood, my honor, my reputation and soon my freedom."

    Cohen's congressional testimony came after he pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about his negotiations over developing a Trump real estate project in Russia. As a real estate developer, Trump had reportedly been interested in building a tower in Moscow since 1987. Despite negotiations continuing through the 2000s, no project ever came to fruition.

    Cohen also pleaded guilty to five counts of tax evasion, one count of making false statements to a financial institution, one count of willfully causing an unlawful corporate contribution and one count of making an excessive campaign contribution, all charges arising out of the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election.

    Trump himself reacted to the revelation of Cohen's book pitch with a series of bewildered tweets.

    "Wow, just revealed that Michael Cohen wrote ‘a love letter to Trump' manuscript for a new book that he was pushing… Book is exact opposite of his fake testimony, which is now a lie!" Trump tweeted Friday.

    ​"Congress must demand the transcript of Michael Cohen's new book, given to publishers a short time ago. Your heads will spin when you see the lies, misrepresentations and contradictions against his Thursday testimony. Like a different person! He is totally discredited!" he continued.

    ​"Michael Cohen's book manuscript shows that he committed perjury on a scale not seen before. He must have forgotten about his book when he testified. What does Hillary Clinton's lawyer, Lanny Davis, say about this one. Is he being paid by Crooked Hillary. Using her lawyer?" Trump tweeted.

    Cohen is represented by Lanny Davis, a longtime Clinton ally, according to Fox News. He is facing three years in prison for the abovementioned charges.

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    Tags:
    Congressional Testimony, book, US House Oversight Committee, Michael Cohen, Donald Trump, United States
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