Michael Cohen Claims Donald Trump Said 'Black People Are Too Stupid to Vote for Me,' Among Other Racist Comments

Michael Cohen, former lawyer to President Donald Trump, exits the Federal Courthouse in New York City on August 21. Cohen reportedly claimed that when the two worked together, Trump made racist comments about blacks. Yana Paskova/Getty Images

President Donald Trump's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen claimed that his ex-client said black people were "too stupid" to vote for him and that countries run by black people were "s***holes."

Cohen, who in August pleaded guilty to eight criminal counts in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation and directly implicated Trump in campaign finance law violations, made the claims to Vanity Fair in a story published Friday.

The lawyer who worked for the Trump Organization said he watched a Trump campaign rally in 2016 and, upon seeing that the crowd was mostly white, made a suggestion to his boss.

"I told Trump that the rally looked vanilla on television. Trump responded, 'That's because black people are too stupid to vote for me,'" Cohen told the magazine.

Years earlier, following the death of South African leader Nelson Mandela in 2013, Cohen claimed that Trump said: "'Name one country run by a black person that's not a s***hole,' and then he added, 'Name one city.'"

Trump was widely criticized in January for reportedly calling African nations, Haiti and El Salvador "s***hole countries" during an immigrant meeting with lawmakers in the Oval Office.

NEW: With the midterms days away, and President Trump ratcheting up his rhetoric, Michael Cohen detailed instances to me in which he said his former boss privately used chilling, racist language https://t.co/3PnhnoHKfA

— Emily Jane Fox (@emilyjanefox) November 2, 2018

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders at the time denied Trump made such a comment but also said, "No one here is going to pretend like the president is always politically correct—he isn't," and that it was "one of the reasons the American people love him."

Cohen also relayed a conversation he said he had with Trump in the late 2000s when the two were on their way to a Trump International Hotel board meeting in Chicago.

"We were going from the airport to the hotel, and we drove through what looked like a rougher neighborhood. Trump made a comment to me, saying that only the blacks could live like this," Cohen claimed.

Cohen recounted a fourth racist comment Trump allegedly made when they worked together. It related to The Apprentice reality show that Trump starred in, and took place after the first few seasons when the two talked about winners in previous seasons.

"Trump was explaining his back-and-forth about not picking [Kwame] Jackson," an African-American investment manager and Harvard Business School graduate, Cohen claimed. "He said, 'There's no way I can let this black f-g win.'"

Jackson told Vanity Fair his response to Trump "is simple and Wakandan," in reference to the superhero film Black Panther: "'Not today, colonizer!'"

The White House did not comment to Vanity Fair on Cohen's remarks and did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Newsweek on Friday.

Cohen served as Trump's lawyer since the early 2000s and arranged a nondisclosure agreement and $130,000 payment to silence adult film star Stormy Daniels, real name Stephanie Clifford, over her allegations of an affair with Trump. Trump's longtime fixer has had a change of heart since telling Vanity Fair in September 2017 that he would remain loyal to the president.

"I'm the guy who stops the leaks. I'm the guy who protects the president and the family. I'm the guy who would take a bullet for the president," Cohen said prior to testifying before Congress.