It shouldn't have been surprising to turn the TV on Tuesday night and see that Rachel Maddow got the exclusive Michael Cohen interview on the day his book came out, but there it was. And he seemed so happy to be there! And Maddow seemed so happy to have him there! Awwww, it is nice when people who committed crimes for Donald Trump decide to write tell-all books and do their first interviews with Rachel Maddow. It is like leaving the "Big Brother" house and doing your exit interview with Julie Chen!

Cohen broke a bit of news, and clarified a few things. What we noticed were the times when Maddow would ask a question that's been on all of our minds -- like has Trump ever paid for an abortion, and if so how many, or about Russian money laundering at Trump properties -- and Cohen simply said he didn't know.

That seemed to lend credibility to the things he did know.

Cohen discussed Trump's fascination with Vladimir Putin, which in his book he says is about Trump's obsession with Putin's total power and riches. On the show, Cohen talked about some of Trump's curious Russian dealings, like when Trump sold that crap palace in Palm Beach to Russian fertilizer oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev for what seemed to be an insanely inflated profit. According to Cohen, Trump (correctly, we think!) assumes money like that from Russian oligarchs is more or less coming from Putin. And he likes it.

Indeed, Cohen says 2016 was originally a giant branding campaign. Trump thought he was going to lose, and did all that "sucking up to the Russians," as the book says, so he could borrow more money from them in the future. Remember, Cohen was secretly negotiating with the Kremlin to build a YOOGE BEAUTIFUL Trump Tower Moscow, while Trump was running for president and lying to his followers that he had "no deals with Russia." He was even going to give Putin the penthouse, for free!

Cohen: Trump Didn't Want To Win; 2016 Campaign Was Just A Branding Opportunity | MSNBC

COHEN: He's fixated on the wealth of Vladimir Putin, and all of the opportunities that come with it. [...] Donald Trump never thought he was going to win this election. He actually didn't want to win this election. This was supposed to be [...] the greatest political infomercial in the history of politics. So if you take that line and you add to it the Trump Tower Moscow project, you'll understand that this was a branding deal. [...] This was a branding opportunity in order to be able to expand worldwide.

But then Trump won the election. Or "won." And now it's a whole new ballgame, because Trump has tasted a new kind of power.

Cohen says this has now gone to Trump's head and he literally, truly, madly wants to be dictator for life.

COHEN: He's not the same person that I knew years ago. [...] The power that he now has, has gone to his head. He wants to be an autocrat. He wants to be the president of this country for life. He wants to be just like Putin, just like Kim Jong-un, just like Maduro, he wants to be like Mohammed bin Salman. He craves this. He doesn't want to run for president. And that's why he says 'Well what about 12 more years, 12 more years.' He's not joking. He doesn't have a sense of humor. He doesn't laugh or tell jokes. He doesn't have a sense of humor. He means it when he says it. [...] And he wasn't joking again when he said that he could kill somebody on Fifth Avenue and get away with it. He means it.

All of that tracks with everything we know. It's almost not even horrifying anymore. It's just how it is, and we have one chance to stop it on November 3.

Elsewhere, Cohen talked about how constant Trump's collusion with National Enquirer publisher David Pecker was during the 2016 campaign. Was Pecker just doing Trump sweet favors, by publishing fake stories about how Ted Cruz's dad killed Kennedy with Lee Harvey Oswald, because of how nice he is? Oh no, Cohen says, Trump approved that personally, just like he did with every story Pecker would send over about one of Trump's primary opponents.

Cohen: Trump Consulted On National Enquirer Stories To Smear His Political Opponents | MSNBC

COHEN: Nothing happens without Mr. Trump's approval at the Trump Organization. To the same extent, nothing happens without President Trump's approval. He micromanages everything, especially and including things that he doesn't know anything about.

MADDOW: But he was getting the National Enquirer to run all of those stories, one after the other, on all the other Republican primary candidates? He was involved in all of those?

Yup, says Cohen. If Marco Rubio was getting good poll numbers, "salacious rumors" would hit the Enquirer about Rubio, after Trump personally approved each story sent over by Pecker. "That is a remarkable campaign contribution to the Donald Trump For President campaign," Maddow replied, which makes you really wonder what-all investigations Bill Barr had killed at the Southern District of New York, doesn't it?

Finally, Cohen talked about Trump's intense hatred for Barack Obama, and the birther campaign Trump started against America's last legitimately elected president. Cohen said Trump doesn't even necessarily believe Obama was born outside the United States, but he loved how divisive it was, and how it got people to follow him. "The more divisive, the better," Cohen wrote in his book.

Cohen Explains Trump's Obama Fixation: 'He's All Of The Things Donald Trump Wants To Be' | MSNBC

COHEN: Donald Trump is like a cult leader. And he's very Stalinistic in the fact that he repeats things over and over and over again, with the theory that if you continuously say the same thing over and over, people will start to believe it.

And did Trump actually send somebody to Hawaii to investigate Obama's LONG FORM BIRF CERTIFKIT? Cohen says LOL.

COHEN: [T]hat's a lie. He never sent anybody anywhere. He just said it and everybody sorta bought into it, "Of course Donald Trump sent somebody, he's rich!" Right? Who wouldn't send somebody, if you want to prove your point? Donald Trump didn't do it, because he didn't want to spend the money, and he didn't believe it. His hatred for Barack Obama is plain and simple: He's black, he went to Harvard Law, he graduated the top of his class, he's [...] incredibly articulate. He's all the things that Donald Trump wants to be. Right? And he just can't handle it.

Well that is just all very on brand for Donald Trump, who is an unhinged racist.

Stay tuned for tonight's Rachel Maddow, where she will interview whoever has written a tell-all book today. Bob Woodward, you going to Maddow tonight? You are probably going to Maddow tonight. We will see you there!

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Evan Hurst

Evan Hurst is the managing editor of Wonkette, which means he is the boss of you, unless you are Rebecca, who is boss of him. His dog Lula is judging you right now.

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