Breakups can be awkward in the age of social media.
Take Michael Cohen and Donald Trump, for instance. Cohen, who previously styled himself as President Trump’s personal attorney, scrubbed that status from his Twitter and LinkedIn pages in the latest sign that he may be about to flip on his ex-boss.
Eagle-eyed social media watchers spotted on July 4 that Cohen had quietly deleted the words “personal attorney to President Donald J. Trump” from his Twitter bio. His LinkedIn page also now lists his current job as simply “attorney.” The page notes that Cohen’s old gig as Trump's attorney lasted from January 2017 until June 2018. His role as “EVP & Special Counsel to Donald J. Trump” at The Trump Organization, likewise, ended in June 2018.
Cohen’s social media makeover follows a blockbuster interview he gave to ABC News' George Stephanopoulos on Monday, in which Cohen signaled a willingness to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller and federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York. Mueller is probing the Trump campaign’s possible ties to Russia, and New York prosecutors are reportedly investigating Cohen’s personal business affairs, including payments made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels, who claims she was paid for her silence after having an affair with Trump.
“My wife, my daughter, and my son have my first loyalty and always will,” Cohen told Stephanopoulos. “I put family and country first.”
Cohen’s Twitter background also previously showed him standing at Trump’s podium. Now, it’s an American flag. Cohen tweeted that same image out on the holiday, with the message: “Happy Fourth of July to all!”
Even before Cohen changed his online aesthetic, speculation had been running rampant that he may be on the brink of striking an agreement to cooperate with investigators — even if that imperils Trump.
“Michael Cohen’s public statements Monday and other recent signs strongly suggest that Trump’s longtime consigliere will seek to ‘flip’ on the president, becoming a government cooperator and potential star witness,” former White House ethics lawyer Norman Eisen and two other criminal law experts wrote in in a joint OpEd in The Washington Post on Tuesday. “Because of his role as Trump’s fixer, Cohen is more likely than anyone else to have damaging information on the president.”
Trump, of course, went on record dismissing the possibility that his longtime aide could ever turn against him.
“Most people will flip if the Government lets them out of trouble, even if it means lying or making up stories,” Trump tweeted back in April. “Sorry, I don’t see Michael doing that despite the horrible Witch Hunt and the dishonest media!”
So far Mueller has secured five guilty pleas, including from former campaign aide Rick Gates, a longtime deputy to campaign chairman Paul Manafort; and from Michael Flynn, a retired lieutenant general and Trump’s first national security adviser.
Cover image: Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's personal attorney, center, leaves federal court, in New York, on Monday, April 16, 2018. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)