Michael Cohen began his testimony against Donald Trump in the former president’s civil fraud trial out of New York on Tuesday, marking the first time in five years the pair stood face to face. In his first interview since the proceedings, Cohen told CNN’s Erin Burnett on Friday of the reunion that he “felt absolutely nothing.”
“It wasn’t until I took the seat by the judge’s stand that I was confused on how I was going to be, and actually, I felt nothing,” he said. “It was so weird that here I am, sitting directly across from Donald Trump, and I felt absolutely nothing. And then directly over his left shoulder was his son, Eric, who also, I maintained a relationship with, and I felt absolutely nothing.”
Cohen added the one thought that did go through his head — and it sounded more like pity.
“I looked at him,” he said, “and I said to myself, ‘Boy, what a sad-looking, pathetic, deflated individual.'”
Cohen freely admitted that he was nervous about coming face-to-face with Trump and his son Eric before his testimony began.
New York Attorney General Letitia James, who spearheaded the civil case against Trump, has said before that Cohen’s previous admissions about the former president’s finances motivated her to file the suit.
Indeed, Trump’s net worth was a major talking point on Tuesday. Cohen testified of his former employer, “He would look at the total assets and he would say, ‘I’m not actually worth $4.5 billion, I’m really worth more like 6.'” From there, Cohen was expected to “go back and reverse-engineer” Trump’s assets to “make it work,” as Burnett put it.
Cohen told Burnett that he testified Trump “cooked the books.” He added, “It was already determined by Judge Engoron that the Trump Organization committed fraud. The rest of the case right now is all about disgorgement.”
“How much money is the Attorney General going to seek in terms of damages based upon the actions of Donald and the Trump Organization with a baseline—a baseline—of $250 million? I predict it’s going to be more like over $600 million.” Cohen added.
Watch Cohen’s full interview with CNN in the video above.