Trump aide grabs attention in Iowa
March 7th, 2011
12:23 PM ET
12 years ago

Trump aide grabs attention in Iowa

Des Moines, Iowa (CNN) - Monday was already shaping up to be a busy day on the calendar in Iowa for political reporters, with six potential Republican presidential candidates slated to make appearances at various forums in the first-in-the-nation caucus state.

A press release on Sunday afternoon, however, added one more event to the daybook: "Michael Cohen, Executive Vice President and Special Counsel to Donald J. Trump, will hold a media availability at Signature FBO in Des Moines tomorrow morning at 9:15 a.m."

Translation: An aide to Donald Trump will available in Iowa Monday to stir up even more 2012 buzz about the reality television star and business mogul. Bring your cameras!

Reporters - six or seven of them, at least - obliged.

Television crews were invited onto the tarmac of the Des Moines International Airport to film the arrival of one of Trump's private jets - the one with "TRUMP" emblazoned in giant letters across the fuselage - and grab some video of Iowa Republican Party Chairman Matthew Strawn boarding the plane to chat privately with Cohen.

After roughly five minutes, Cohen and Strawn then de-planed and parted ways. Cohen lingered to chat with members of the media about his day ahead, which he said featured meetings with "major GOP leaders, advocates, operatives, fundraisers, and just about everybody, I suppose."

Cohen claimed he was in the Hawkeye State not at the behest of Trump (though they work on the same floor in Manhattan and confer regularly), but rather on behalf, the presidential draft website Cohen launched with Stewart Rahr, another Trump booster.

Cohen said Rahr, the billionaire founder of pharmaceutical giant Kinray, paid for the flight to Iowa, though Trump was the one who granted him use of the plane.

"We do understand that Iowa is the first stop if anyone is interested in the presidential election," Cohen said. "We are very anxious to learn about Iowa and be able to report back to Mr. Trump when he hopefully decides to run in June."

Cohen insisted that Trump should be considered a serious contender should he decide to run, mainly because of his long and prosperous record in private sector.

"What would be fabulous would be to see him put that ability and talent to work for the rest of us," Cohen said. "The country really needs him more than ever before."

The prospect of President Trump has sparked a deluge of late night humor and eye-rolling by Beltway insiders. Cohen waved it off.

President Obama and potential GOP candidates like Mike Huckabee, Ron Paul, Tim Pawlenty and Sarah Palin "have all been made fun of" by comedians, Cohen said.

"That's what the press does," he said. "They like to have fun with anyone and everyone."

If he does decide to run, Trump's path to the GOP nomination would almost certainly be complicated by past breaches of party orthodoxy. He regularly assailed President George W. Bush during the last administration, and he has offered financial support to Democrats, including former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel in the Chicago's mayor race.

"Mr. Trump gives money to everybody," Cohen responded. "It's irrelevant as to whether or not it's Republican or Democrat. He is an individual who looks to individuals and not the party. There are many business deals he does that that requires."

Cohen said Trump contributed to Emanuel's bid in Chicago after being asked to do so by his agent Ari Emanuel, Rahm's brother.

Filed under: Donald Trump • Iowa
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. WhoLou

    If Donald HairDo gets elected POTUS, can we make him use his own jet (the one he sent to Iowa so he will have a "presence" there) and park AF One for four years ? Maybe Sister Sarah could be a stewardess on his jet since she is out of work.

    March 7, 2011 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  2. ES

    Born with a silver spoon, Trump will bankrupt america just like he bankrupt his businesses – twice. Then he'll blame god and cheat on his wife in the same breath.

    What a joke. Man is the embodiment of the american dream is dead. He'd be homeless if not for daddy's real estate empire.

    March 7, 2011 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  3. Indy

    Trump does not even know what a global economy is, and failed to see that China is part of the global economy and there is absolutley nothing he can do except embrace it. He could never give up his business for 4 years to be POTUS and probably thinks he can do both at the same time. His real estate empire was built on Government grants and banks that were too stupid to see him coming and his business practices would never get past the vetting procedures required to become POTUS. The Whitehouse is no place learn how the world is actually run, and it is nothing like Trump thinks. You must not have had a reality TV show if you ever plan on becoming POTUS

    March 7, 2011 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  4. GI Joe

    The Pouter will never win. He may take some republican votes, but he won't win.

    March 7, 2011 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
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