Breaking News Emails
President Donald Trump's embattled personal attorney, Michael Cohen, retweeted a photo of himself with comedian Tom Arnold — who happens to be working on a show with Viceland that features him hunting for unflattering video of Trump.
Arnold told NBC News early Friday that Cohen ― who is under investigation by federal prosecutors ― talked to him about the show, which is expected to air later this year.
"We’ve been on the other side of the table and now we’re on the same side," said Arnold, an outspoken Trump critic.
"It's on! I hope he [Trump] sees the picture of me and Michael Cohen and it haunts his dreams."
Cohen on Twitter Friday evening called the meeting "a chance, public encounter in the hotel lobby where he asked for a selfie" and he added: "Not spending the weekend together, did not discuss being on his show nor did we discuss @POTUS," referring to Trump. Cohen added the hashtags #done and #ridiculous.
It was Arnold — who is Trump fan Roseanne Barr's ex-husband — who posted the photo Thursday night with the caption "I Love New York." Cohen then retweeted it without comment.
Thursday night, NBC News asked Cohen about the photo and he referred inquiries to Arnold. Several hours later, Arnold contacted NBC News.
He said he was in New York taping interviews for the Viceland show and that he and Cohen met at the Loews Regency Hotel in Manhattan. A Viceland producer said Cohen had not done an on-camera interview and they are "still working it.'
Viceland announced in May that it had tapped Arnold to helm a show called "The Hunt for the Trump Tapes," and investigate whether rumored tapes from the past showing the president in a negative light actually exist.
"The host will draw on his high-profile network of celebrity friends, entertainment executives, and crew members he's met over more than 35 years in showbiz to dig for evidence on Trump's most incriminating moments — and, being a comedian and all, he'll have a little fun along the way," Vice said in the announcement of the show.
"He'll be backed up by a handful of experienced journalists, and — aside from trying to uncover the tapes themselves — he'll look into the companies and tycoons who have allegedly fought to keep the damning recordings a secret."
Arnold would not say whether Cohen was planning to give him any tapes he might have of conversations with Trump.
But he added, "This dude has all the tapes — this dude has everything."
"I say to Michael, 'Guess what? We’re taking Trump down together, and he’s so tired he’s like, 'OK,' and his wife is like, 'OK, f*** Trump,'" Arnold said, laughing.
Later Friday, Arnold tweeted the photo again, seeking to emphasize that it was himself and not Cohen who suggested the takedown.
"Michael has enough Trump on his plate," Arnold said. "I'm the crazy person who said Me & Michael Cohen were teaming up to take down Trump of course. I meant it."
He told NBC News that tweeting the photo was "indiscreet" but said Cohen had been betrayed by Trump after years of loyal service.
"Michael Cohen showed up and worked diligently above and beyond and sacrificed and Donald Trump is like I don’t even know who he is. You think Michael doesn’t notice that?" Arnold said.
Cohen is under investigation by federal prosecutors in New York for his business dealings, including a $130,000 hush-money payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels, who claims she had sex with Trump. The White House says Trump denies the allegation.
The probe was launched based on a referral from special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible ties to the Trump campaign and who has secured indictment against other Trump allies.
Cohen, who has denied wrongdoing and has not been charged with a crime, has already talked to congressional investigators. In October, he was questioned about a scuttled plan to build a Trump Tower in Moscow and emails he received in 2015 from Felix Sater, a former Trump associate, about the real estate deal.
In May, Arnold tweeted a photo of himself with Sater.
Earlier this week, Cohen reportedly hired a new attorney, a former prosecutor for the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan, after a dispute with his first legal team over bills.