During an appearance on MSNBC’s “The Katie Phang Show,” Phang asked Cohen if attorney Boris Epshteyn had “tried to take over the reins from you” as Trump’s “gatekeeper.”
Cohen didn’t hold back.
“Boris is a moron,” Cohen said, recalling that he and others had viewed Epshteyn as a “little lap dog that was trying to figure out how to get close to Donald’s leg” when the attorney first joined Trump’s campaign as an adviser in 2016.
“That’s all he wanted. And now that he’s there, he has no real experience. He may be a lawyer ... but I don’t know if I would even consider him to be smart,” Cohen added, noting that things have not gone particularly well for Trump since Epshteyn has had his ear.
Ephsteyn rose through the ranks over the years, graduating to a senior adviser role in Trump’s 2020 campaign and embracing Trump’s effort to overturn the election. Now, a member of Trump’s inner circle, he serves as a senior adviser and counsel to Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign.
In May, the Daily Beast reported that, amid infighting among Trump’s attorneys and mounting legal troubles for the former president, one lawyer in particular ― Epshteyn ― had managed to annoy most of his colleagues.
According to The Daily Beast’s sources, the young attorney was “absolutely focused on protecting President Trump from every angle — legal, political, and media,” often stepping on the toes of more experienced attorneys and influencing the former president to follow his worst instincts. Another source added: “He’s got daddy issues, and Trump is his daddy.”
Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison in 2018 after pleading guilty to campaign finance violations, lying to Congress and other charges. He said he did so at Trump’s behest.
In the years since, he’s turned into a vocal Trump critic, and has cooperated with prosecutors investigating the former president.