Return to Transcripts main page

CNN Live Event/Special

Michael Cohen Admits to Stealing From Trump Organization. Aired 11-11:30a ET

Aired May 20, 2024 - 11:00   ET



JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: But Tim and then Elie --


TAPPER: I mean, again, not a lawyer, just a common guy, just a humble caveman, but it seems like they should have hit this harder a week ago?

PARLATORE: Oh, absolutely. And, you know, the point you just made about yourself, that's what the jury is, except for two. Jurors --

TAPPER: Two of them are lawyers, right?

PARLATORE: Jurors don't know this stuff, and so they need to have it, you know, really presented to them. And so the fact that it was minimized in that way by the prosecution, I think it presents a very good opportunity in closing for they knew about this, they minimized it, the prosecutor misled this jury. That's what I would argue.

TAPPER: Are you allowed to say that?

PARLATORE: Yes, sir. Oh, yeah.


ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: The way this was raised and addressed on direct is what Julia Louis-Dreyfus would call yada, yada, yada. I mean, here's what Michael Cohen -- here's what Michael Cohen said.

DANA BASH, CNN ANCHOR: I think that was George Costanza.

TAPPER: No, no, no.

BASH: It wasn't?

HONIG: It was Elaine.

TAPPER: It was Elaine.

BASH: Really?

HONIG: Yeah. TAPPER: It was Elaine on yada, yada, yada.

BASH: OK. Let's debate it longer.


HONIG: Here's the direct testimony, the way Michael Cohen explained what happened, quote --

TAPPER: It's actually a girl that Costanza was dating, but OK, sorry, go ahead.

HONIG: Michael Cohen explained this whole thing, quote, "That's what was owed, and I didn't feel Mr. Trump deserved the difference. That's a lot different than I stole $60,000 from my boss on the transaction at the heart of this case." And by the way, the fact that he was ever charged with larceny is important because stealing $60,000 through fraud, which would be larceny in New York State, is more serious of a crime than falsifying business records.

BASH: This is one of those instances where I'm really looking forward to talking to our reporter or reporters who are in there, to see I understand and I take your point, Laura, about, or all of you really, about playing to the jury, but also being careful about reading too much into the reaction of the jury. I think the answer to your question about whether or not they really did absorb what the prosecution said last week or two weeks ago --


BASH: -- will be, has to be noted by their reaction today in some way, shape, or form. Don't you think?

LAURA COATES, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: I absolutely think so. And again, the reason you want to -- and it tells me that the reason that Todd Blanche has gone to such great lengths to go through this part is because he's trying to draw attention to even that which would have been minimized. He wants the jury, no matter how they initially received it, to now view it through the lens of the defense. That this is somebody who has manipulated and lied and has hustled the defendant in this case.

And remember, they have to prove that Donald Trump intended and had some intent or was complicit in some way. It's hard now.

TAPPER: And right. So Blanche has turned to 2018, when the Stormy Daniels payment became public through the Wall Street Journal journalism, excellent journalism by the Journal. Blanche moves to early 2018, the Daniels payment becomes public. "You told multiple people when it first leaked that President Trump knew nothing about the payment, correct?" Cohen confirms. Blanche asked, "You even called Melania, the first lady at the time, and told her that President Trump didn't know about it?" Cohen says, he doesn't remember doing that.

Cohen says, "He acknowledges that he told the New York Times Maggie Haberman on the record that Trump was not aware of the payment at the time." Blanche is going through a conversation that Cohen had with a friend who was in jail in New York asking whether he insisted to the friend that Trump knew nothing about the payment to Daniels. "I don't recall specifically saying that, but it would have been what I would have said at the time," Cohen says.

Again, this is the argument Cohen makes, which is, I was lying in 2018, but you can believe me today. Cohen agrees that he recorded multiple conversations with reporters telling them that Trump knew nothing about the payment.

Blanche asks, "If Cohen recalls telling one reporter, your wife and kids had just found out two weeks earlier." Cohen says, "He doesn't remember, but he wouldn't be surprised if he said that at the time." Before April 9th, when the FBI raided his office and residence 2018, quote, "You had told anybody who asked that President Trump knew nothing about the payment at the time, correct?" Blanch asks. "That's what I said, yes," Cohen says.

Trump writes something on a Post-it and hands it to Bovet in the courtroom. Trump then leans in and says something to Bovet. Bovet writes a note back to Trump. Blanche asks Cohen to confirm he met with Bob Costello. That's one of the -- no, that's the lawyer, on April 17th to discuss representing Cohen, Cohen pushes back and said, "I received communications from Jeffrey Citron, that's his attorney, asking to set up a meeting with him and Bob Costello in order to discuss possible representation of me, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah."

I want to get former Trump attorney Michael van der Veen and bring him in. He represented Trump in the second impeachment trial. And Michael, it seems to us here, and again, we are not the jury, and I do not know how the jury is receiving this information, but us on our panel here, this revelation that Michael Cohen stole $60,000 from the Trump organization in misleading payments that are cited in the Weisselberg and McConney notes about this, you know, allegedly bogus payment system. Do you think that is as devastating as our lawyers on the panel seem to think it is to Cohen's credibility and the undermining of this -- these documents?


MICHAEL VAN DER VEEN, FORMER TRUMP ATTORNEY: It's certainly important for putting into context what Cohen was doing. Guess what? He's a thief. You know, now he's a thief. He's a liar. He's a thief. He's greedy. And he can't be trusted for anything. But his credibility, you know, after the first day was knocked out. The difficulty that the prosecution has is they're painting Trump as a victim.

Now Trump has been stolen from and without knowing it, the only real difficulty for the defense is they still have to answer the question, why was the payment made then? Did this greedy, lying, thieving guy then turn around and give up his own money, the fruits of his own theft to hide this Stormy Daniels story before the election came out? That's the real rub that they've got to address and probably do in closing.

TAPPER: What would you recommend if you were on the defense team right now and you were cross-examining Cohen right now, what more would you want to get out of him before you turned it back to the prosecution?

VAN DER VEEN: Well, I want -- I would want to hit every point that I wanted to hit when the cross-examination started. I think as this morning goes on, there are going to be a few more bombshells where what was presented in the prosecution really was shaded in a way to smooth it over rather than to call it what it is. You know, when the prosecutor was asking Cohen days ago about this very subject, he didn't really answer the question. When you go through the transcript, she asks a direct question and he answers it with other facts.

So I don't think Cohen did understand what the prosecutors wanted him to, when this first came up. So then they were stuck with it. And now, you know, Blanche is just sitting at home. The guy's a thief. He stole from Trump, he stole from the organization, and he's completely unreliable.

TAPPER: Yeah, and it just seems to me like these documents, the Weisselberg memo and the McConney memo about what Weisselberg was saying, which is the crux of the case, that these checks for $35,000 to Cohen every month in 2017 were not actually a retainer. They were paying Cohen back for this hush money payment and it was hidden. That's -- that's the crime, the alleged crime here.

But the Weisselberg and McConney memos that are part of that case now have in them Cohen's larceny, his admitted larceny, which would seemingly be undermining of the documents, at least the idea that Mr. Trump knew what was in the bill.

VAN DER VEEN: That's right. You know, it undermines the document. It raises the temperature for reasonable doubt. But to a certain extent, it also raises the temperature for Trump to testify. You know, they're trying to now draw conclusions from and close the gap on Cohen as a thief and a liar.

But, you know, at the end of the day, he still says that this money was paid and it was done with the knowledge of the president and it was done for the benefit of the election, to influence the election. And, you know, as much cross is going on, it's hitting credibility. It's not really hitting the facts that underline the prosecution's theory of the case.

Of course, if the jury decides to follow the instruction, false and one, false and all, you know, Cohen's, all of his testimony from his direct and his cross could be wiped out. And then the prosecution really does have a hold.

TAPPER: Michael van der Veen, good to see you. Congrats on the Phillies win yesterday. Appreciate it.

VAN DER VEEN: Thank you.

TAPPER: And also to Bill Brennan, wherever he is, congrats on the Phillies win as well.

So what's been going on in the -- in the -- in this courtroom while we're talking to Michael, this has to do with Michael Cohen talking to Bob Costello, this attorney who is out there before Congress and on Fox and other places, undermining Michael Cohen, saying that he's saying things that are not true. And it has to do with -- as I've stated, he writes to -- Michael Cohen, writes to Costello on May 15th, 2018, as I've stated in the past, "When the right time comes and now is not the right time, will you advance our conversations regarding this issue here?" There are too many hands right now with all the very various viewpoints. I don't really fully understand what's going on with the Costello questions right now. Do you -- do you understand it?


COATES: Well, it seems as though they're trying to -- well, first of all, Costello, remember, is somebody that we've heard maybe some iteration that he would be somebody they want to call to testify. I remember who he was. He was the last line of defense at one point for the Defense Council to try to avoid an indictment of Donald Trump. He testified in front of the grand jury.

And so one was wondering why he was not initially somebody who was called on either side of the issue. But his main job has been throughout the testimony from Todd Blanche and beside -- and on and mentioning him has been to suggest that Michael Cohen was lying about the dangling of pardons, that he was lying about his credibility and beyond.

TAPPER: Yeah. All right.

HONIG: I share your sense of slight befuddlement as to Costello and why there's so much emphasis on him from the defense. And maybe Tim can shed a little light on this. I mean, this is a guy who represented Michael Cohen. Unclear whether they were formally attorney and client or just advisor and advisee during some of these crucial times and appears to have some testimony that would undermine some of the things Michael Cohen said. For example, was Michael Cohen seeking a pardon or not? And I'll turn to you, Tim, and much of that ground seems to have already been covered. I'm not quite sure I see why Costello was hanging out there as this potentially powerful defense witness.

PARLATORE: So the reason why Cohen -- why Costello is important, you know, right now they're going through how many times you called them, how many times you met with them, because Cohen has tried to minimize, you know, the -- the involvement of Costello and saying, well, I never formally retained them. But he had a lot of communications with.

TAPPER: Right.


TAPPER: And they're going into that right now --

PARLATORE: They are, and --

TAPPER: -- talking about -- hold on, let me just punch up this number because it was -- it was a while ago.


TAPPER: 75 communications with him, yeah.

PARLATORE: Yeah, 75 phone calls with him over a very short period of time. And during the direct, he talked about how, you know, that they were trying to dangle pardons in front of him. And he was using this back channel with Rudy Giuliani when Costello's version of that, which is backed up by emails, is that it was Cohen that was begging for a pardon and, you know, that Rudy Giuliani was pushing back on it. And that when Rudy Giuliani did finally, you know, relent and say, OK, I'll ask. He came back saying the president doesn't want to talk about pardons and I don't want to hear about it again, right?

BASH: And that's really the key, right?

PARLATORE: Right. And that's --

BASH: That credibility of that question of whether or not maybe he -- Cohen is doing what he's doing now.


BASH: Because he didn't get a pardon from Donald Trump, whereas Costello would say, no, no, that's not what we talked about at all.


KASIE HUNT, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: And earlier as well, Cohen seemed to really characterize it as him trying to field this incoming from Costello.

TAPPER: Right.

HUNT: -- and that he was worried about how his communications with Costello were then filtering down to Rudy Giuliani. So it seems to go to another place where potentially the defense is able to say to this current jury who really the prosecutors need to believe that Michael Cohen is telling the truth right now, that maybe Michael Cohen didn't tell the whole truth to them just a few days ago.

JAMIE GANGEL, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: Just a big picture, though, for a minute. And once again, this would help if there were cameras in the courtroom and we could read jurors mind. But isn't there a danger here that at a certain point enough is enough? It's too much.

I just noticed our colleague Maggie Haberman in The New York Times shortly before 11 o'clock wrote publicly jurors are pulling at their faces and shifting in their seats. We don't know what that means. Maybe it's time for lunch. But if they're getting bored, if they're thinking, OK, we know this already, a possible explanation, you know, maybe they've gone too far.

PARLATORE: I look this --

COATES: Can I eat? Can I go to lunch? (CROSSTALK)

PARLATORE: This is why during cross-examination I look at the jury, because when I see them doing that, that's when I know to either move on or say to the judge, hey, can we take a break?

TAPPER: Yeah. Kaitlan Collins up in New York.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yeah. Jake, remarkable moment there. And obviously we've been tracking the Bob Costello thing very closely. And as of this morning, the defense still not decided whether or not they would call him as a witness. Certainly some people in Trump's orbit wanted them to. Others thought it was a bad idea. It would only delay things and drag them out.

Trump is leaning in to read e-mails that they're showing with Donald -- with Michael Cohen and Bob Costello right now. And Trump is looking at those. Now they're turning to a YouTube video that Costello had shared. Obviously, he testified last week before Congress and disputed key parts of Michael Cohen's testimony about what he knew and what he said that he knew about Donald Trump's knowledge of this payment. And, Paula, that was a moment there that Todd Blanche seemed to be driving home.

Todd Blanche has this tactic of laying things out there, implying things without actually directly saying them. And what he seemed to be doing there is pointing to all the times Michael Cohen denied Trump's knowledge of this payment and saying that shifted after the FBI showed up at Michael Cohen's house, hotel room and office to search them and to carry that out. After that is when he started changing what he was saying about what Trump knew about the reimbursements.


PAULA REID, CNN CHIEF SENIOR LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: That's exactly right. And the reason that Bob Costello matters here, well, Mr. Costello and Mr. Cohen dispute whether it was a formal attorney- client relationship, right? He was never formally retained.

Michael Cohen did have to waive attorney-client privilege and Costello has subsequently testified before the grand jury. In this case, he testified before Congress last week because Costello insists that while he was talking to Cohen, Cohen repeatedly told him that he had no evidence of criminal misconduct by Trump at that time. And then, of course, his story changed.

So Todd Blanche is likely building to highlight that and how Cohen's story eventually shifted. This is also why they'd want to put Costello on the stand. He has testified publicly again and before the grand jury, trying to undercut Cohen's credibility. It's unclear, though, after what Blanche has done here, that they'll really need Mr. Costello. It appears to be a workaround by bringing him up in front of Mr. Cohen as opposed to having to bring him in, in person.

COLLINS: Well, and this is an interesting point where they're showing an article that Cohen sent an email to Costello that said Trump's campaign to discredit Michael Cohen is already underway because we saw and the jury saw, more importantly, John, an email from Bob Costello to Michael Cohen saying this is a pressure campaign. I believe his quote was the left -- in the left-wing media to get you to cooperate against Trump or to flip on Trump or to reveal what you know, because they're basically saying this outside pressure about whether or not Trump himself was keeping Michael Cohen in the Trump fold.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Yeah, I suspect the defense likes some of this information that the email exchanges with Bob Costello provides. But the actual reality of putting him on the stand for the defense may open up the door to a world they would rather not get into, which is the Rudy Giuliani world, which is what's going on inside the political sphere of Donald Trump, because that may not be as advantageous. I mean, it might allow the prosecution to point out like, hey, what about pardons? Hey, what about pressure? A pressure campaign is a tough thing, I think, for a jury to hear about.

REID: Yeah, absolutely. And Costello is a longtime attorney of Rudy Giuliani. So that, again, absolutely could open the door there. And the other problem is Costello and Rudy Giuliani went to Trump last year begging Trump to help Rudy Giuliani with the bills that he owed Rob Costello. And as of the last time I checked in with him, he still hasn't been paid. And that was part of the theory of why Costello hadn't been called to the stand, concerns about potential bad blood.

But I'm told the actual concern is about Costello's credibility and holding up on the stand. Exactly what John said.

COLLINS: Did Costello sue Rudy Giuliani over those unpaid legal bills?

REID: Yes, he has. After representing him for years and years, Costello is still out millions of dollars, still has not been paid. Though Trump did help Rudy Giuliani, held a couple of fundraisers for some of his other legal obligations and outstanding bills. Costello has not got his money from Trump or Giuliani.

COLLINS: Not a lot of redeeming legal figures in this orbit. Speaking of one of those who is redeeming, criminal defense attorney Ron Kuby is here. Ron, as you've been listening to this testimony this morning and the cross-examination of Michael Cohen as it's gone on, what's your -- what's your assessment from the moments where Michael Cohen is saying, yeah, he did steal from the Trump organization, they're trying to change how he portrayed his relationship with Robert Costello. What's your assessment of the morning so far?

RON KUBY, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, I have to say, I learned that Michael Cohen is a bully. He's a thug. He's disbarred. He's a convict. He lied repeatedly to almost everyone about everything, about what Donald Trump knew and didn't know. But now that I find out that he's a thief, my whole perception is exactly the same as it was.

I mean, look, people who commit crimes and intend to commit crimes tend to commit those crimes with other people who are unsavory themselves. This will not be the first time that an underboss or a capo, captain, if you will, in a mob trial has skimmed something from the boss that the boss never learned about. I don't think it's the bombshell that it --

COLLINS: Do you don't think the jury will hold it against him?

KUBY: No, I don't. I think that if the jury believes Michael Cohen's account of what happened most, but not all of which is amply corroborated, the fact that Michael Cohen, you know, was a lying weasel lackey for Donald Trump is not going to hurt him.

Now, I do think the defense scored, knocked a hole in the edifice, if you will, of the prosecution's case when they cast doubt on the content of that particular phone call that they did last week. But that's one hole. If you imagine a prosecution's case being made of various bricks and mortar and different sized stones, this was a brick or two out of that edifice. I don't think it's enough to collapse it.


Remember, a trial is actually a search for truth, but we on the defense side want to turn it into a search for reasonable doubt. But that's not really what it is.

COLLINS: If you were the defense right now, where would you end this line of questioning for Michael Cohen?

KUBY: Oh, about an hour ago. Honestly, I think that -- I mean, I usually have a set of first questions I'm going to ask and last questions I'm going to ask. I think the defense has now gone on too long. I probably would have ended it with, yeah, Michael Cohen's a thief also, and let it rest there.

COLLINS: Can I ask you another question about the Michael Cohen conceding he did steal from the Trump organization aspect of this, the $60,000 after it was grossed up? You know, before they had kind of tried to -- Michael Cohen had been portrayed to the jury as someone who was just doing Trump's bidding, kind of following his lead, bumbling kind of in this way of the Michael Cohen-ness of his job. Does him saying that, yes, he did steal, work to the defense's argument that Michael Cohen was an opportunist who used his proximity to Donald Trump to do what he needed to do to protect him, but also to enrich himself?

KUBY: I don't think that narrative, that story is in doubt. I think that that is exactly who Michael Cohen is. I think the evidence shows that's exactly what he did. The question remains, as others have said before and others will say again, how do you explain Michael Cohen shelling out $130,000 out of his own pocket just because why? He's a fan of Stormy Daniels?

COLLINS: Yeah, it's a question of how the jury is viewing all of this. Ron Kuby, you got two laughs, one from John Berman, one from Paula Reid, so we'll congratulate you on that.

Jake, obviously a pivotal moment here, as, you know, you've heard from Ron Kuby saying he thinks this questioning of Michael Cohen should have ended an hour ago. TAPPER: Interesting stuff. Let's bring in Anthony Scaramucci, who briefly served as White House Communications Director during the Trump administration and has a new book out tomorrow called, "From Wall Street to the White House and Back: The Scaramucci Guide to Unbreakable Resilience." Look at that photo on the cover there, Anthony, you look --

ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI, FORMER TRUMP WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: That's an expensive photo, Jake. There's a lot of airbrushing in that photo, Jake.

TAPPER: I was going to say, is that your high school graduation pic? It looks good. You look good.

SCARAMUCCI: Yeah, I mean that photo was taken in 1983 when you were still in middle school, Jake. Take it easy, OK?

TAPPER: You look good. Hey, look, you still got your hair. That's all that matters.

So let me ask you, because it seems that Todd Blanche and the Trump defense team, it seems like they've landed some real punches today. They've been grilling Michael Cohen, and he basically admitted to stealing from the Trump organization, stealing $60,000. They've also underlined the point that he was handling a lot of stuff in October 2016, some sort of blackmail attempt on Tiffany Trump, trying to get an endorsement for Trump's campaign from one of the children of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., some many, many other deals having to do with his tax and medallion service, et cetera, et cetera. What do you make of it so far?

SCARAMUCCI: Well, listen, I mean, so he went to jail for perjury. I guess I would ask everybody, is he telling the truth about all this stuff? And so since none of it reflects well on him, Jake, I think people believe him. I think they think he's telling the truth.

And so remember, the judge has to go to the jury and say, here's the evidence. If you believe the evidence and the evidence tips you over beyond a reasonable doubt that some crime took place, then the person that we're prosecuting is guilty. And I think, weirdly, all of that stuff helps Mr. Trump in the media, and it gets everybody in the media talking about it. But I actually think all of that stuff has actually hurt him.

And so your prior guest said they would have stopped talking about it an hour ago because you don't want to sell through the close. But ultimately, Michael telling the truth and it not reflecting well on him speaks to his veracity in terms of his testimony. And I think this stuff actually hurts Trump in this case, doesn't help him.

Yes, I know people will say, well, you know, he's a criminal, so therefore he can't believe him. They believe Sammy Gravano, you know, and John Gotti went to jail as a result of that, even though Sammy Gravano was a known liar and a known criminal.

[11:25:03] TAPPER: Yeah, a mass murderer. I think we get at least two or three "Sammy the Bull" Gravano references every day. So for those of you at home playing the drinking game, there you go.

I guess one of the issues here, Anthony, is not so much that Michael Cohen just admitted to larceny, because, as you say, that could, in a juror's mind, underscore that he's telling the truth, because why else would he admit to larceny? But that it wasn't brought out well enough, at least according to the attorneys on our panel here, by the prosecution to underscore the idea that the bill, or at least the notes taken by Weisselberg and his assistant McConney, had falsehoods within them, because the $50,000 to Red Finch was not actually paid to Red Finch, because he pocketed, by his own admission. Cohen pocketed $30,000 times two because of the tax payment in addition.

And so it would seem to undermine the idea that Donald Trump knew every detail going into his payment of this $420,000, which was then divided by 12 and paid over the course of 2017. Because if he didn't know that he was paying $60,000 because Michael Cohen thought, hey, I deserve this, then how would he know that some of the other money was going to pay Cohen back for paying off Stormy Daniels? Now, I know you don't believe that, but couldn't a juror see that and think, that's reasonable doubt?

SCARAMUCCI: OK, so Jake, what you just described, and did obviously a brilliant job describing it, could be analysis that creates paralysis. And I hear what you're saying, but I think the facts of the case are pretty prima facie. Money got spent and money was misallocated. And was there fraud perpetrated to cover this up prior to the election?

And so what you're saying, I get it. And they're trying to thread that and they're trying to weave that in there. But the jury also knows Mr. Trump, he's been a media personality for 50 years. And I don't think that that analysis that you just made, unless maybe one of the defense attorneys is going to do that in their closing argument, in the closing summary, is the winning argument.

The winning argument here is, here are the facts of the case. Here are the receipts of the case. Do you think the defendant is guilty or innocent based on the facts? And is Mr. Cohen lying to you right now and right here? And I don't think there's one of those 12 jurors going to say he's lying, because remember, he's saying stuff that hurts him.

Now, you may not like Mike Cohen, and I don't mean you, Jake Tapper. I mean the general person, you, in terms of the generic of the use of the word you. But you have to not like or dislike him. You're an arbitrator at a criminal proceeding. You have to look at the facts of the case. Are these facts true? And if they're true, does that give you beyond a reasonable doubt?

Now, you're right. I do think it does. And people say, well, he thinks that because he doesn't like Trump. No, I don't think that because I don't like Trump. Because, like I said to you last time I was on the show, if it's clippety-clop and you hear a clippety-clop outside, it's not a zebra. Don't overthink the case. These guys were hiding something. They put Michael in jail for this.

And now they have Mr. Trump on trial for this. They were hiding something. Is it a criminal act? I think it is. And the question is, well, will the 12 jurors think it is? And I think they've proved the case, that's what I think.

TAPPER: Let me ask you, because you and Michael Cohen are friends after hours and hours in total of cross-examination, much of which was designed to get under his skin, are you surprised that according to people watching the trial, Michael Cohen has generally been able to keep his cool?

SCARAMUCCI: OK, so again, I'll submit to all the viewers out there, if I told you, listen, you're a guy that I can ignite, and I can trip you up, and I know there's a dynamite stick somewhere in your personality that's going to explode, but you're going to go through the most important testimony in your life as you're trying to reclaim your life and your future, and you got to not let that dynamite stick blow up under any circumstances.

I think he has been well rehearsed in this, and I think he has diffused it and not taken the attacks personally. And I think that's a big lesson for everybody. Don't take the attacks personally, because once you start doing that, it will affect your judgment, and keep your ego out of it. That's another big lesson in my book.