President Donald Trump’s longtime personal attorney Michael Cohen on Wednesday posted a collage of himself with various black Trump supporters and friends to prove that neither he nor the president hold racial biases.
— Michael Cohen (@MichaelCohen212) August 16, 2017
When asked about the collage, Cohen explained that he and Trump both were “not racist” and that he found the assertion “disgusting, disgraceful, and hurtful.”
“I know President Trump and his heart,” Cohen told Business Insider. “He is a good man and doesn’t have a racist bone in his body. All morning I am receiving horrific comments about being anti-black, racist, etc. for supporting Trump. It’s just wrong!”
He added: “I grew up in a home that denounced racism for obvious reasons. I absolutely denounce white nationalism and all those who believe in it. The comments by Trump haters are truly hurtful.”
Cohen’s tweet followed several days of intense criticism from Republicans and Democrats alike for Trump’s response to violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Trump initially refused to specifically denounce white supremacists, condemning “many sides” for the protests and violence.
And a day after delivering a second statement, this time explicitly singling out neo-Nazis and white supremacists, the president doubled down on his initial statement, instead criticizing what he described as the “alt-left” and arguing that some people attended the event to protest the potential removal of a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee.
“What about the alt-left that came charging at the, as you say, the alt-right?” Trump said. “Do they have any semblance of guilt? Let me ask you this: What about the fact that they came charging, that they came charging with clubs in their hands swinging clubs? Do they have any problem? I think they do. So, you know, as far as I’m concerned, that was a horrible, horrible day.”
Moments later, he added: “I’ve condemned neo-Nazis. I’ve condemned many different groups. But not all of those people were neo-Nazis, believe me. Not all of those people were white supremacists by any stretch. Those people were also there because they wanted to protest the taking down of a statue, Robert E. Lee.”
Natasha Bertrand contributed reporting.