Michael Cohen says possibility of Trump receiving foreign money to pay bills is ‘no joke’

Michael Cohen warned Monday that former President Trump could try to elicit money from foreign nations to pay for his mounting bills after his former boss’s lawyers said it was “impossible” for them to secure the full bond due in his New York fraud case.

“As Americans, we should be very concerned where that money is coming from,” said Cohen, who was an attorney for Trump before their falling out. Cohen made the remarks during a Monday interview with MSNBC’s “Deadline: White House.”

“First and foremost, if it’s coming from a company like Chubb or Federated [Insurance], yes we know that company, it’s an American company and so on. But what if hypothetically, the money is coming from Saudi Arabia, from Qatar?

“What if by chance, it’s coming through a backdoor channel of Russia? That now leaves a potential presidential candidate … basically owing a foreign entity. All at the expense of America’s security? This is no joke,” he continued.

Earlier Monday, Trump’s legal team indicated in court filings it will be “impossible” for them to secure the $454 million bond due in his New York fraud case.

His attorneys told the state’s intermediate appeals court they spent “countless hours” in negotiations with “one of the largest insurance companies in the world,” and approached 30 companies to back the bond.

A New York judge ordered Trump to pay nearly $355 million — plus interest — in penalties after concluding he conspired to lie about his net worth to receive tax and insurance benefits. The total judgement climbs nearly $112,000 in interest each day he doesn’t pay, and it now amounts to more than $454 million.

Cohen argued Trump’s situation could put national security at risk if he is elected to a new term as president.

“This places our national security in jeopardy and continues to make Donald Trump the single most … dangerous thing in America to our national security and democracy,” he said. “He doesn’t care where the money comes from as long as he gets it.”

Democratic Rep. Sean Casten (Ill.) argued a similar point on social media, writing, “The presumptive @GOP nominee for President is desperate for $464M (and counting) which he cannot personally access. That fact alone makes him a massive national security risk; any foreign adversary seeking to buy a President knows the price.”

Trump’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Monday’s filings came nearly a week after a federal judge signed off on Trump’s $91 million bond in a separate defamation case brought by writer E. Jean Carroll, though the former president found an insurance company to underwrite that bond.

Court documents indicated insurance company Chubb underwrote Trump’s bond in the defamation case, but it was not immediately clear the amount of cash or collateral the former president was required to put down.

Trump has amassed massive legal fees across these cases, along with the four criminal cases he is facing. Federal election filings released earlier this year said his fundraising committees spent nearly $30 million legal fees during the second half of 2023.

Filings in February said Trump’s Save America leadership PAC spent nearly $3 million in legal consulting fees in the first month of this year.

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