James Comey isn’t the only person to compare Donald Trump to a crime boss. In 2011, Michael Cohen called Trump the “godfather of politics,” foreshadowing language the fired FBI director recently used to describe the president.
“He is now the godfather of politics,” Cohen, Trump’s longtime personal attorney, told ABC News in 2011. “Everybody wants to see him, everybody wants his endorsement.”
Later in the interview, Cohen boasted that whomever Trump endorsed would be the 2012 Republican nominee.
“These people will follow him to wherever he goes, hence of course why again I said he’s become now the godfather of politics,” Cohen said later in the interview.
“You like that!” he interjected when host Amy Walters started asking a follow-up question. “You like that term, I can see it!”
“I mean, it’s—it’s really good, using the godfather, OK,” she replied.
“How strange is it for you to sit here and compare the president to a mob boss?” interviewer George Stephanopoulos asked Comey.
“Very strange,” Comey replied. “And I don’t do it lightly. I—and I’m not trying to that, by the way, suggest that President Trump is out breaking legs and—you know, shaking down shopkeepers. But instead, what I’m talking about is that leadership culture constantly comes back to me when I think about my experience with the Trump administration.”
The organized crime analogies may have started with Cohen—and they may end with him, too. White House allies told The Daily Beast that the raid on his office was the kind of tactic law enforcement would usually be expected to use against the Mafia.