Trump 'Thinks He's a God,' CPAC Packed With Cult Followers, Michael Cohen Says

Former personal attorney to Donald Trump, Michael Cohen, said the ex-president believes "he's a God" after CPAC organizers installed a golden statue of him at the conservative conference.

The longtime fixer for Trump said the "stupid-looking pagan idol of Donald" at the Conservative Political Action Conference this weekend in Orlando, Florida, will offer the former president a brief respite from an onslaught of investigations. Cohen told MSNBC's Ali Velshi Saturday morning that Trump "may be crazy but he's not stupid," saying his ex-confidant realizes the pressure of pending litigation directed against him and his real estate organization. Cohen said Trump needs adulation and screaming supporters in the way most humans need oxygen to breathe.

The artist behind the golden Trump statue, Tommy Zegan, told Politico Playbook it was actually "made in Mexico," which prompted immediate social media ridicule.

Cohen said that publicly Trump will "pretend he's invincible," but the former president is incredibly nervous about ongoing investigations from the Manhattan District Attorney and others.

"He really enjoys the cheers of the crowd. Now it's even more interesting because of the artist that produced that gold Donald," Cohen said Saturday, reacting to photographs showing hundreds of CPAC attendees posing alongside a golden Trump statue. "Now, he actually thinks he's a god, like a pagan god, people are lining up down the hallway in order to take a photo with a stupid-looking pagan idol of Donald.

"You will get a packed CPAC house of people that will come there simply to take a photo with the pagan Donald or to see him speak and to continue to spread these horrific sort of comments which he's been doing now for more than 5 years," Cohen said, describing the former president's behavior as "sociopathic."

Cohen first started working as an attorney for the Trump Organization in 2006, 10 years before his first presidential campaign. Cohen was sentenced to three years in federal prison in 2018 after pleading guilty to lying to Congress, financial crimes and campaign finance violations during his tenure as the president's fixer. He was released last July and is serving out the remainder of his sentence in home confinement through November 22, 2021.

The group Look Ahead America installed the art piece depicting Trump inside the CPAC exhibition space as the former president prepares to deliver his first big post-presidency speech there Sunday. Cohen said Trump is reveling in CPAC's decision to make him the face of the party's future despite his ties to the January 6 Capitol attacks and his continued denial he lost the November election to President Joe Biden.

"The [GOP] had a chance to move forward after 1/6, but Republican voters want Trump," said Tim Miller, a former GOP strategist who has left the party, in an interview published Friday in USA Today. "And rather than try to counter that, Republicans have chosen submission and erected a Trump golden idol."

Indeed what many have described as a GOP civil war since the Capitol riot barely registers in the event's speaker lineup, with prominent Republican critics of the former president largely absent, in some cases despite appearing often at the event in years past.

MSNBC host Velshi and Cohen shared a laugh after Velshi described CPAC as "a gathering of a bunch of people who say crazy things."

Cohen commended New York Attorney General Letitia James, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance and high-profile litigator Mark Pomerantz for their efforts to seek justice against Trump, who has evaded prosecution "his entire life."

"There's a whole slew of litigation pending against him, and he actually hates being involved in litigation when he's the defendant, he hates it, Cohen said. "He basically loses every single case that he's a defendant in because he lies and you can't get him to sit for a deposition because his lawyers won't allow it because it will be filled with untruths."

Newsweek reached out to representatives for Trump and Cohen Saturday morning for additional remarks.

michael cohen attorney donald trump
Michael Cohen, former personal lawyer for President-elect Donald Trump, gets into an elevator at Trump Tower on December 12, 2016 in New York City. DREW ANGERER / Staff/Getty Images