At first, Michael Cohen appeared indifferent as he listened to the group of Republican leaders urge his boss to run for governor.
It was the fall of 2013, and Donald Trump was already fixated on “the big thing,” as he referred to running for president. But the Republicans knew they were getting somewhere when Trump signaled to his attorney that he wanted more talks.
“So Michael,” Trump would say, “you get us a date on the calendar.”
Soon enough, no one in the billionaire’s coterie was more enthusiastic than Cohen about the prospect of a Governor Trump. Albany, Cohen believed, was a great opportunity not only for his boss but also, as it happened, for himself.
After the meetings, Cohen would adjourn to his office at Trump Tower to plan next steps with Michael Caputo, the Republican strategist plotting Trump’s gubernatorial campaign. But Cohen surprised Caputo by talking about his own political aspirations. He told Caputo he had always wanted to run for mayor of New York City, a race he said he could win if Trump was governor.
At one point, Cohen floated the idea of a Trump-Cohen statewide ticket, an idea Caputo considered as absurd as Cohen running for mayor. “He kept bringing it up,” Caputo said. “It went from Michael Cohen interested in running for mayor to, well, ‘I’ll run for lieutenant governor under Donald Trump.’ I didn’t want to disabuse him of it, because he was our liaison. I felt like, ‘Yeah, okay Michael.’ ” [Continue reading…]