Speaking with anchor Alex Witt, Cohen shared a story about the president’s past attempts to inflate his net worth to impress members of the media and provoke fawning coverage.
During one meeting with Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg, Trump explicitly said that he wants his net worth to appear higher than it is, Cohen alleged.
“First it was, ‘I wanted to show I have $7 billion.’ Then ‘I’m worth $7 billion’ before the conversation finished it’s, ‘let’s make it $8 billion,'” Cohen began.
After that, they tried to “manipulate the numbers” to show to the press, Cohen said.
But as they were trying to fudge the numbers, Weisselberg realized that this could create additional problems for the real estate mogul, forcing him — or his children — to pay more in taxes.
“Then Weisselberg said that may not the smartest idea, we’ll have a tax bill we can’t deal with if you drop dead tomorrow and that will be on the kids. He [Trump] said, ‘well, that’s okay. I’ll be dead, let them deal with it.'”
“That’s the callousness of Donald J. Trump,” Cohen concluded.
Cohen has previously made similar claims.
As The Associated Press reported, during his hearing before the House Oversight Committee last year, the lawyer alleged that the president once artificially doubled his net worth.
In 2014, the real estate mogul was one of the finalists in the bid to purchase the Buffalo Bills, so he tried to get a loan from Deutsch Bank. Financial statements from that time period showed his net worth doubling in less than a year, because of the value he arbitrarily placed on his name.
According to Cohen, Trump inflated his net worth “when it served his purposes, such as trying to be listed among the wealthiest people in Forbes.”
Trump’s political opponents have long alleged that he is not nearly as rich as he claims, suggesting that he is too vain to reveal his actual net worth. As New York Magazine reported, in 10 of the 15 years from 2001 through 2015, he paid no federal income tax.
However, this does not mean that Trump is not wealthy, the publication noted. Rather, he exploited loopholes and used various legally dubious methods to avoid paying taxes.
For instance, Trump’s taxes reportedly show that he wrote off $26 million in consulting fees. Some of these funds were transferred to Ivanka, his daughter and White House adviser.