Behind the Bastards

There’s a reason the History Channel has produced hundreds of documentaries about Hitler but only a few about Dwight D. Eisenhower. Bad guys (and gals) are eternally fascinating. Behind the Bastards dives in past the Cliffs Notes of the worst humans in history and exposes the bizarre realities of their lives. Listeners will learn about the young adult novels that helped Hitler form his monstrous ideology, the founder of Blackwater’s insane quest to build his own Air Force, the bizarre lives of the sons and daughters of dictators and Saddam Hussein’s side career as a trashy romance novelist.

Part Two: Roy Cohn: The Man Who Made Donald Trump

Part Two: Roy Cohn: The Man Who Made Donald Trump

Thu, 10 Dec 2020 11:00

Part Two: Roy Cohn: The Man Who Made Donald Trump

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Hey, Robert here. It's been like two months since I had LASIK and I'm still seeing 2020. All I had to do was go in for a consultation, then go in for a maybe 10 minute procedure and then my eyes have been great ever since. You know, I healed up wonderfully. It was very simple, couldn't have been a better experience. So if you want to explore LASIK plus I can't recommend it enough. They have over 20 years experience in the industry and they performed more than two million treatments right now if you want to try getting LASIK plus you can get $1000 off of your surgery when you're treated in September, that's $500. Of per eye, just to schedule your free consultation. Hello, I'm Erica Kelly from the podcast Southern Fried true crime. And if you want to go from podcast fan to podcast host, do what I did and check out spreaker from iheart. I was working in accounting and hating it. Then after just 18 months of podcasting with Spreaker, I was able to quit my day job. Follow your podcasting dreams. Let's breaker handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to That's Hey there, it's Ebony Monet, your co-host for the San Diego Zoo's Amazing Wildlife podcast. In this special episode, we're speaking with Doctor Jane Goodall about the fascinating journey that led to her impactful behavioral discoveries on chimpanzees. It wasn't until one of the chimpanzees began to lose his fear of me, but I began to really make discoveries that actually shook the scientific world. Listen to amazing wildlife on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. Welcome back. We're talking about Roy Cohn. I don't know how else to lead into this. I'm Robert Evans podcast. Bad people talk about him. This is Part 2. Roy Cohn. He's suck. My guest today is Joelle. Monique. Joelle. I'm good. I'm eager to more learn more about Roy Cohn and the terribleness that he inflicted on our country. Yeah, he is he. He inflicted nothing but pain. And that's good for him, I guess. So when we last left our dear friend Roy, he had promised to wreck the army. Now, I don't know if you're aware of this, but Americans today are broadly fond of the army, and since the President of the United States was in the 1950s, a retired general declaring a desire to destroy the branch he served with. It was not a great long term career move like in 2020. Broadly speaking, Americans are positively inclined towards the army. In the 1950s it was like a universal thing, right? Like pretty, pretty close to it. So yeah, McCarthy and Cohn had made a tactical error in deciding that they were going to destroy the army because the army was a heck of a lot more bridges. They're like, we could do anything. Yeah, it's like The Beatles declaring they're bigger than Jesus, except for The Beatles actually were bigger than Jesus. Statistical, yeah. Yeah, statistical facts. Yeah, so Americans had actually been pretty mixed on McCarthy and his tactics. In the years leading up to the Army trial. Journalists and intellectuals had sharply criticized what seemed to be and was a thoroughly undemocratic thing. Eisenhower himself had called Mccarthyism's predecessor, the House unamerican activities community, the most unamerican thing in the country. Many in the nation were thus baffled when Iglet Senator McCarthy go on for years without serious opposition, even by the low standards of US Presidents, Eisenhower is probably in like like the upper quarter or so. Of of of our Presidents. And again, he did a lot of horrible things because presidents are a bad thing to have. One of the number of great black marks against his name, maybe even the greatest, although, you know, we also have Korea, is that through his silence he allowed McCarthyism to fester and continue. Some scholars claim his neglect was intentional and indirect approach he used to subtly stymie the senator. Ike, they claim, secretly leveraged his influence to modestly obstruct the red and lavender Scare CD. Jackson and Eisenhower speechwriter tried to convince his boss to take action. He later claimed the president read my text with great irritation, slammed it back at me and said he would not refer to McCarthy personally. I will not get into the gutter with that guy, and I think the defenses of Eisenhower here are ********. The only way to defeat a cancer like McCarthyism, which is based on bigotry and fear, would have been for the most admired man in the country to stand up and call it what it was. The reality of the situation is that Senator McCarthy was a Republican and so was Dwight D Eisenhower crushing McCarthy's. Witch Hunt would have cost eye political capital and he needed party unity to accomplish things that meant more to him than the suffering of 10s of thousands of citizens. In short, the presidents not such a good thing to have the two party system. It's killing us. Yeah, literally destroying us. Yeah. It's such a problem. Not to be too salacious, but do you think they also had blackmail on him on on Eisenhower? I doubt it. I I honestly think this is perfectly explicable from Eisenhower just not wanting to deal with something that would have been nasty like he had politically. Like he had **** he wanted to do and he didn't really care if gay people and leftists were being harassed and if some innocent, like, not innocent, like because the gays and the leftists were innocent. Of some people who were, neither of those things got mistakenly drawn into it, too. He just didn't care because it was more important for him to do the things that he wanted to do with the political capital that he had. So he just didn't do any. He didn't. He knew it was the wrong thing, what I McCarthy was doing, and he clearly disliked McCarthy, but he didn't care to stop it because that would have meant sacrificing something else he wanted, you know, because again, good people don't become the president, and Eisenhower is in this period of time about the best person we get as president. Still, not a very good man. Like, fair enough. Let's look at the lineage. Not much change. Not much has changed. We had one moderately good person be president, and he was not a good president. Sorry Carter. So the whole hellish circus finally met its end in the spring of 1954 is the Army trial drew to a close with the cross examination of a young lawyer for the army. Now this man was a fresh faced, earnest young person serving in uniform. He was the kind of person Americans love, right, you've got this like young educated army man, like sitting like handsome sitting on in like the center of the trial being cross examined by Roy code. Who is a monster now? The trial was televised, and it was one of the first Mass TV events in world history. 20 million Americans got to watch this kid who is basically like the avatar of their beloved military and of white innocents get torn apart by Roy Cohn and Joe McCarthy. It was nothing that Roy and Joe hadn't done to hundreds of people before, but because the victim was a friendly young white man, the cruelty suddenly mattered to Americans. Like that is exactly what happens is they pick on a nice white boy on television. And that destroys their careers. I mean, that's how we got all of our gay legal legislation in the early aughts. And yeah, now it's like, oh, our white family members are gay. Which is that white people are gay. Well, I guess we'll have to deal with that. Yeah, I guess they're people. Yeah. So it it also mattered that a man with some sort of moral character happened to be taking part in the hearings. And that man was Joseph Welch, the Army special counsel. He had hired the young lawyer that McCarthy and Cohen were badgering, and eventually he got fed up enough to tell them. Until this moment, Senator, I think I never really gauged your cruelty or recklessness. Now, Cohen was savvy enough to see the rooms response to this and to realize that he was on television and realize how bad this looked. And he desperately. You can watch again. This is all in video. You can watch him try to get McCarthy to back down. You can watch him be like, no, no. We gotta like. We gotta like. This isn't gonna go well for us if we keep pushing this ****. But tail Gunner Joe would not have any of that ********. He continued pressing the young lawyer until Welch told him. Let us not assassinate this lad further. Senator, you've done enough, have you? No decency, Sir? At long last, have you no sense of decency? Listen, the 50s love decency. They love decent people. Yeah. Oh no. Yeah, yeah. Now, this was the death knell for McCarthyism. Yeah. The army put together a dossier on Roy Cohn, which listed all of the ways he had threatened and intimidated witnesses in order to get his boyfriend light duty and better assignments. The White House leaked this to the press and to Congress, and suddenly McCarthy and Cohn were being censured for abuse of power. I'm going to quote now from our write up by the Miller Center in May 1954. I simply said that administration officials and all executive branch employees would ignore any call from McCarthy to testify. Eisenhower explained his action, declaring that. It is essential to efficient and effective administration that employees of the executive branch be in a position to be completely candid and advising with each other on official matters, without those conversations being subject to congressional scrutiny. Now. This was a a bold and daring move, and it worked. McCarthy, his credibility in tatters and now starved of witnesses, hit a brick wall and his fellow senators turned against him. In early December 1954, the Senate passed a motion of condemnation. In a vote of 67 to 22. McCarthy was ruined and within three years. He was dead from alcohol abuse. The era of McCarthyism was over. I could helped bring it to a bitter end. And again, Ike only gets involved and puts his personal credibility on the line to take out McCarthy win. McCarthy makes a mistake that that pushes people against him. I mean, yeah. No, it makes sense. Oh, he's already dead. I kill him. Kill him now. Crazy. I don't I yeah. Cowardice is the best way to describe it. And the fact and even that one senator who had the, really? He had the, the piercing line of having, you know, decency, Sir, look in a mirror. If 20% of America's work population had to be interrogated and it took one white dude for you to be like, oh, maybe I should pay attention. You don't know how much decency there is in that either. Yeah. Yeah, it's great. So Cohen left the government in 1955, never to return. Stymied from continuing to assault and abuse his political enemies, he decided to go after the next best thing, acquiring the wealth necessary to keep ******* with people. Now, the best way he could think to do this was with what was effectively one of the family businesses, the Lionel Corporation. By 1953, it was the largest toy manufacturer on the planet. So they are. This is a big old company when Roy. Returned to New York in 1955, he decided to take it over now. He worked at a law firm by day, which was a job that his dad got for him, and he organized like basically put while he's working in. During his days at a law firm, he's putting together cash from himself and his other investors and his family money to buy up 200,000 shares of Lionel bit by bit. And he does it like kind of in secret. By 1959, he had enough to make up a controlling interest in the company. Roy took charge of the Lionel Corporation, and of course, he proved to be absolutely terrible at the job of managing a toy. Company Roy Cohen somehow does not get what children want. Yeah, I know he would have. Who'd have thought Roy Cohn would not have known what kids wanted in a toy? Yeah, so basically, after under several years of Roy Cohn's management, Lionel collapses, leading to Roy's ouster and paving the way for the company to be bought by Neil Young. Wow. Yeah, the musician Neil Young buys it. He's apparently huge into toy trains. Yeah, never would have guessed. That part of it, like Neil Young taking over, is actually a very sweet and a very happy story. So obviously, we're not going to talk about it at all because this is my podcast, and that makes sense. But Neil Young's great. Throughout the 1960s, Roy developed his career as a lawyer for the powerful and incredibly ******* shady. He had a particular fondness for working for the mob. Among his clients was a guy named Fat Tony Salerno, who, by the way, The Simpsons Fat Tony is based off of the real mobster Fat Tony Salerno. Yeah. That's why they that's why his name is that, like, nobody watching The Simpsons today knows about this. Lobster from like the 60s and 70s, but yeah, Fat Tony Salerno ran the biggest numbers racket in New York City alongside prostitution and loan sharking and all of the normal mob **** you'd expect through a confusing set of schemes. He actually came to Co own a huge number of New York City parking lots with the mob. Roy Cohn did so like Roy is is the mobs lawyer and he winds up. Basically there's all these parking lots that are supposed to be owned by the City of New York but like one of the city employees basically allows Roy and the mob to control them. And so Roy Co owns a bunch of, like, paid parking spaces with the mafia in New York City. That's so weird. It's a weird gig. Or is it just the parking spots? Yeah, he owns lots. Yeah, he owns parking lots that that that are supposed to be city property. But Roy and the mob are profiting off of them. And memory serves, in the 70s, they used those to slowly start building new developments. Yes. Although, yeah, yeah, you got. I think Roy was probably involved in some of that. Although it's the kind of thing where, like, nobody's writing down Roy's exact involvement, and this is a cash business, so, like, he's not paying taxes on any getting all. Very. It's super illegal. Is is the core of this. Yeah. If there was one thing that Roy hated more than communists, it was the concept of paying taxes. Many of his friends later reported that his. Many of his friends later reported that his greatest ambition in life was to die owing the IRS millions and millions of dollars. He simply did not pay taxes. As he grew more successful as a mob lawyer and became partner at his Manhattan law firm, Cohen wrangled the business into paying for his two rolls royces paying for his food, his suits, his vacations, his homes. Cohen would loudly explain to anyone who listened that he avoided making any more money than absolutely necessary. Business expenses were tax deductible for the company and not income. For him, even if they went to buying him whatever he wanted to, it happened to one. So Cohen had no money, basically, but the company had a lot of money and the company paid for everything that Cohen had and then wrote off those payments as tax deductible. And so Cohen didn't pay taxes. I don't have all the numbers before me, but I know a lot of millionaires and billionaires are like living off of that model of lifestyle now. Yeah, God. Yeah, it's pretty cool that he, that he, that he works this out and very telling of like, the kind of guy that he is. Because, again, Roy doesn't think he has any responsibility to like society or to like the the country, to making like, you know, roads and ****. Like, really, Roy Cohn does not give a **** about any of that. So Cohen broadened his practice from the Mafia to other wealthy and powerful men who, you know, wanted to get out of the law one way or the other. A big part of his clientele were wealthy men who wanted to divorce their wives without losing any of their money. He also started representing the Archdiocese of New York, AKA The Catholic Church. So in New York, the Mafia and the Catholic Church had the same lawyer, and it was Roy code. You got to love New York. Yes, it's pretty great, really. Wow. Well, I mean in the Catholic Church, bunch of Italian men with a lot of money who commit crimes, the mob, bunch of Italian men with a lot of money who commit crimes. I guess the only difference is that the mob includes more Sicilians. It's good stuff. It's embarrassing. Yeah. As the 60s turned to the 70s, Roy started defending wealthy people charged with cocaine possession. He was an expert wielder of the legal cudgel. Roy was known to brag. My tough front is my biggest asset. I don't write polite letters. I don't like to plea bargain. I like to fight. And he was also famous for saying that all he cared about in a case that didn't matter. Like he didn't care about the evidence, he didn't care about the charges. He just cared about who the judge was because his job in any court case was to. Was to manipulate the judge. Nothing else mattered. Yeah, I think so, yeah. If we go back to episode one, where we were talking about his childhood and growing up with all of those, judge, he would know, you know, this is an atypical type of judge or this one. Yeah. And he's familiar with all the cases. It makes sense. Lean into your strengths. Roy Cohn. Why not? Yeah. Yeah. It's. I mean, it's totally like, he's he's very consistently the man he is his entire life. He's like 20 something at that point. He's 27 when he and McCarthy are like, like finally when their crusade ends, so, like, he never changes. Like that's kind of the thing about Roy Cohn is he is exactly the same person his entire life, which is remarkable. There's no arc like he he. At no point does Roy grow as a human being. Well, when your mom, you know, is taking care of you into your 40s, you have no need to grow. Yeah, you do. Think. That might have had something to do with it. In 1973, Roy Cohn met the man who would become his moral protege and almost a son to him, Donald J Trump. Else they first met. Yeah, Yep. They first met at a nightclub when Trump was in his mid 20s, the same rough age Roy Cohn and his boyfriend Shine were when they started working for McCarthy. And a number of people have pointed out that Donald Trump and David Shine both look a lot alike. Shine was like a tall, blonde, Nordic looking young man. If you look at pictures of like Donald Trump when he's in his 20s, like he's a tall, blonde, Nordic looking man, they're kind of similar looking dudes. Please, ****. I mean that. That's not how Roy Cohn felt about it. Like, a lot of people basically will insinuate Cohen had a crush on Donald Trump, and that may have been the case now. When they met, Donald's dad was still alive. Shockingly, Donald Trump's dad didn't die until like 99. I think it was like he was alive way longer than he should have been. Yeah, so it wouldn't be at the end. It was bad now, yeah. So Donald is the heir of a massive fortune when they meet. And he's already in trouble in the law, too, because he's his dad and he own a real estate company that had just gotten exposed for refusing to rent homes to black people. So that's like, the first conversation Roy Cohn and Donald Trump has is like, Donald Trump's like, yeah, the law is up my *** because we won't rent to black people. And Roy Cohn's like, oh, I can help with that. And that's how their relationship starts. I'm going to quote from the Atlantic. Romantic, beautiful start. It is. It's gorgeous. Trump recognized a man after his own self-image, a ruthless player who knew how to win in the film. Cohen remembers Trump saying, I've spent two days with these establishment law firms and they're all telling us, give up, do this, sign a decree or and all that. I followed your career and and you seem you're a little bit crazy like I am and you stand up to the establishment. Can I come see you? Donald asked for Roy's advice and Roy told him. Very simply, tell them to go to hell and fight the thing in court. They did exactly that. Trump and Cohen held a press conference announcing $100 million countersuit against the government. It was almost immediately dismissed, but that was not the point. Cohen understood the media from his childhood, writing a gossip column and his time leaking stories to the press on behalf of the FBI. Roy knew that Americans never read below the headline when they're looking at a newspaper, so nobody would find out that the suit got dismissed. All they remember was the headline that Trump had countersued the government for $100 million, which must mean that Trump had some reasonable. Reason to be angry at the government that they wronged him too. And then suddenly you've complicated something that's actually very simple. Trump and his dad are racist to ****. You see the same tactic at play in Trump today. Here's where he learns it. Roy Cohn teaches him this ****. So the legal battle with Cohen and Trump versus the government went on for almost two years, and it did not end in a victory for Roy Cohn or Donald Trump in the traditional legal sense of the word. But both still considered it a win from the Atlantic. They won the case by not losing, by counterattacking, raising phony charges, admitting no wrong. Trump paid careful attention. Roger Stone was another one of Roy Cohn's friends and proteges, and he was interviewed for the documentary Where's My Roy Cohn? His comments in that film can be assumed to double as Donald Trump's. Comments on the same matter. Roy would always be for an offensive strategy. These were the rules of war. You don't fight on the other guy's ground. You define what the debate is going to be about. I think Trump would learn that from Roy. I learned that from Roy. Ohh, good stuff set. It's very upsetting that it works. Works incredibly. Wellness. It's it's disastrously successful. Now the Atlantic would go on to sum up Royce style. This way. Conan, Trump embody the Mafia style in American politics. I don't mean The Sopranos. I mean the cold will to power that carries a threat of murder without shame. And it's worth noting that the two people interviewed and where's my Roy Cohn? Described cone with the word evil. So, like, again, that that's just the guy he is. Everyone knew it, Trump knew it, and Trump loved it. And when we talk about evil on this show on behind the ******** we're usually talking about someone with a significant body count. And if we're talking about kills that Roy ordered, he's he's stuck at maybe 2 Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. But like most mob lawyers, Roy had a funny way of having enemies or former friends wind up dying under mysterious circumstances. One example would be the guy who sold Roy and the mob those parking lots. Because again, he was doing, he was giving them those lots illegally and there was an investigation into him and then he turned up dead in the trunk of a car. Like, I don't know if Roy had anything to do with that, but I don't know that he didn't. Then there was a case of Rd signature mob style of murder at the time was just shoot him in the back of their truck and then close it, walk away. And yeah, then there was the case of Roy's yacht. I say Royce yacht, but it was really owned by Cohen's law firm, least for Michelle company called Pied Piper Yacht charters, which I think Roy also had some sort of interest in everyone. Hide piper. Yeah, yeah, no, yeah, Piper yacht charters. Sure. I feel like Epstein is really just right about to just be like, hello. A lot of people were taking notes on Roy. So everyone knew the yacht as Roys Yacht until June 22nd, 1973. On that night, the 97 foot yacht, which was officially named defiance, sunk off the Florida coast. It was insured and Roy made $200,000 off the demise. It sure was defiance of the IRS. I bet. Yeah, boy. You can't. You can't see it, listeners, but all of us just made a face like, yeah, now it was handy that the yacht sunk because by 1973, the the Defiance was well past its best days. Her original captain had refused to take the helm on the journey up to New York because the boat was in such bad shape and they were actually going to scuttle the boat and sell it for scrap. But the fact that it sank meant that Cohen got a hell of a lot more money for it because it was insured for the full value of a functional yacht. And yeah, so this the the guy who had been the captain of the boat. Refuses to pilot it because it's in such bad shape. So Cohen, he resigns and then Cohen hires another captain to replace him. And the captain he picks as a convicted felon in three states? Umm yeah, not maybe the best guy to pilot your boat. Now, before the journey started, 21 year old Sailor Charles Martinson told his father that he had a bad feeling about the vessel and he wasn't sure it would make the journey. Sure enough, a fire broke out and the boat sank with Martinsen. Abort it and Martinson died. His father, Lt Martinsen, was also a sailor. And something about the. Worry that the captain told him about how his son had died didn't sit right. In July, he succeeded in sitting down with a crew member in secretly taping their conversation. The crew member admitted to suspecting that the boat had been deliberately sabotaged, and furthermore revealed that the FBI had reached out to him about the sinking. Now, the FBI never found anything conclusive, and they decided not to dredge up the boat to do a proper investigation because it would have been expensive, so they left it at the bottom of the sea with Charles's body. Lt Martinson went to his grave believing that Roy Cohn had deliberately. Scheduled the boat killing his son to make $200,000. When an interviewer asked Roy about this, his response was interesting and completely characteristic of him. This is Roy. He thinks I murdered his son. Let's look at it this way. Hey, I didn't own the boat. BI didn't get the insurance. C The statement is an outrageous falsehood. For how am I going to get angry at a man who lost his son? You've got to feel terrible about it. I'm certainly not going to get into a name calling contest or a criminal lawsuit against a father who lost his son. All I can tell you is that I understand his bitter feelings and if he read someplace that I gave a party on the boat, it was my boat. Even though I never met a son, never heard of a son, never hired a son, never saw his son in my entire life, and never had any insurance come to me directly or indirectly. I'm still not a bit. Angry at a man who reacts emotionally. Wow, when you lose a son, I couldn't be sorrier for him for what happened. Now, that's Roy's response, and it's impossible to prove what happened here one way or the other. But it's fair to say that whether or not Roy intended to murder that young man, he absolutely orchestrated something shady in regards to the sinking of that boat. All you have to do is follow the money which Esquire did. One of the $200,000 insurance policy it was paid to a dummy corporation set up by Pied Piper yacht charters, owners of the boat. Some company whose escrow account Roy manipulated. According to court papers, part of the insurance money was dispersed to pay off the yachts mortgage. Another 15,875 went to Cohen's law firm for legal fees. Another $7100 went to the law firm as reimbursement for personal property lost on the boat and $7950 was paid to Cohen directly for lost property. Confronted with this information which contradicted his earlier claims, Roy said simply, this is possible. I'm not sure whether we were paid by the insurance company or Pied Piper. I didn't get any money from the boat. Thinking, well, yeah. I mean, I got that money from the boat sinking $7000 of offer. Made several thousands. But yeah. And my law firm got thousands. And my law firm pays for me. Yes. If you have power, you can just shrug and people will be like, oh, OK, then I guess we don't know, and they'll walk away. It's incredible that the FBI would not want to investigate this guy who's been a part of bajillion shady things like this. Could have been great in the whole. Yeah. It's so good do crimes, guy. Yeah. And that. Poor dad. Ohh, yeah. No, he's. I mean, his life is ruined because his son is killed, possibly murdered because some people will say that, like, the kid realized there was a scheme going on and really had him killed. I don't know. Like, I don't know if Roy was. I I kind of doubt Roy intended for someone to die, but I think Roy had a malicious disregard for whether or not someone died. I will say that's probably true. Yeah. So this gets me to another important fact about Roy Cohn. We are never going to have a full accounting of the extent of this man's crimes. It's impossible because he knew the law, he had powerful friends and most of the crimes he committed tended to be the kind of shady rich guy crimes that involved secretly buying businesses and manipulating escrow accounts and other things no right minded person understands. Which is why wrong minded people like Roy get away with the **** they get away with. So let's move back to the mob. Roy's mafia connections came in super handy when his new buddy Donald Trump needed a favor. In the late 1970s, Trump was in the process of constructing a building that is still today the most famous cornerstone of his real estate. Empire's fifth avenues, Trump tower. It was to be a huge building, as grand as the narcissistic ambitions of its namesake. And while most skyscrapers of similar size were made from steel, Trump, for some reason, wanted to build it entirely out of concrete. It was the largest concrete structure in the country for a while now. The problem with making a building of this size out of concrete is that the entire concrete industry in New York, including its labor union, was controlled by the mafia during this period of time. According to another write up from Esquire quote Ready Mix, concrete dries quickly, which can leave developers vulnerable to expensive workers slowdowns, a common tactic from mob controlled construction sites. While other developers were urging the FBI to take down the Mafia, Trump bought its concrete at artificially high prices, according to Pulitzer Prize winning journalist David Cay Johnston, who's known and covered Trump for 30 years. Are perceived in exchange as smoothly operating work site from the construction union. So Trump through Cohen orchestrates the plan. We're like #1 the unions on strike. At this point, people can't really get concrete, and when they do, people like the workers were pour the concrete and then go on strike in order to get more money, a lot of which goes to the mafia's coffers. And because the concrete will be wasted if it's not like worked on while it's still setting like it, it's a great racket. And Trump, basically, because of Cohen's connection, is able to set up an arrangement with the mob by. By which he's the only guy who gets to use concrete effectively in constructing a building during this period of time. You know who doesn't control the entire concrete industry in New York City? Advertisers, yeah. Yep, they don't. They absolutely do not. Mint Mobile offers premium wireless starting at just 15 bucks a month. And now for the plot twist. Nope, there isn't one. Mint Mobile just has premium wireless from 15 bucks a month. There's no trapping you into a two year contract. You're opening the bill to find all these nuts fees. 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Is there anything that we haven't talked about or or that I should have asked you or you'd like to add that seems relevant? You should have asked me why I'm missing fingers on my left hand. A story about sacrifice. I think his suffering drove him to try to alleviate suffering. And the shocking discovery I made where I faced the consequences of writing a book I thought would help people? Isn't that funny? That's not funny at all. It's depressing. Very depressing. Religious history is back with more. Listen to revisionist history on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. I've never seen less enthusiasm for a great idea in my life. We are, we are back. We we have returned. So according to a former Cohen employee, Trump and Fat Tony Salerno actually met face to face at Cohens townhouse. Now Trump has denied the meeting ever occurred, but Salerno was later indicted on racketeering charges for an $8 million concrete deal made for a Trump development. So you tell me. Now this sounds shady to me. The successful construction of Trump Tower is what first made Trump the project, which involved tearing down an old hotel that had been at the location and building up something better had been seen as impossible when Donald announced his plans, in part because the concrete working union was on strike and there were a bunch of logistical hurdles. And it was Roy Cohn who managed all these hurdles for Trump. Like, this was seen as the reason Trump got famous is like everyone was like, because of how corrupt the construction industry is because of the mob. There's no way Donald Trump is going to be able to, actually. Like, complete this project and he does, and it impresses everybody. And the reason he does is because Roy Cohn ******* knows everybody. And Roy Cohn fixes this for Donald, now Cohen's law firm part. There's a number of reasons why it's not just his connections to the mob. One of them is that Cohen's partner in his law firm was the deputy mayor of New York City. Who fast tracked approval. Yeah, who fast tracked approval for Trump's construction plans. When the building was finished, Cohen engineered positive coverage for Trump in the New York Post, which was owned by one of Cohen's. Science a guy you might have heard of named Rupert Murdoch. Yeah. Oh, they're all in bed together. So Trump? Yeah. Cohen introduces Trump to Rupert Murdoch. That's where that relationship starts, is Roy Cohn. Mike Ross **** of people. Yeah. Human filth. Yeah. So Donald Trump got the credit for the the feat of construction, of course. Or at least he took the credit, and his fame only grew from there. And for his part, Roy Cohn didn't want credit. What he really wanted was to be needed by powerful people. One of the his acquaintances at the time noted that the first thing he Cohen said to me was Donald Trump cannot live without me. We speak on the phone sometimes 3040 times a day. Yeah, wow. Wow. Yeah. It's got to be nice to be needed. You know, especially when you trade in gossip, lies and destroying other lives. You know, you need people to need you or people are going to be angry at you. Yep, it's like a wall of humans he's surrounded himself with. He sure is madding. So the 1970s were probably Roy Cohn's golden era. He was an infamous regular at Studio 54, the cocaine drenched nightclub that defined New York culture in the late 70s, or at least the parts of it that involve drugged up rich people. Cohen partied with Andy Warhol and an assortment of other famous people who weren't Andy Warhol. He was constantly seen with Barbara Walters, who he was fake engaged to for years in order to have a measure of. What? Yeah, Barbara. Yeah, Barbara. She was one of his closest friends. They basically like they were in a faux relationship for years so that he could have plausible deniability as to being gay. Yeah, Barbara Walters. I mean girl icon. Everybody loved to write code. That's the thing people will also like. He's friends with a bunch of people who he should have hated him because they were like left wing or like they were, you know, progressive or they were gay themselves. Cohen is just one thing people point out is he was really charming. He's a people person, these people. That's but it's Barbara. That's Joel. She's a rich person, and rich people are all I know part of the same class. Unless things go bad. Take the joy from our lives, Robert. Yeah, do it. But again, this just continues to outline the psychopathy that clearly was Roy Cohn. Like, the idea that you could convince all of these people to like you, despite the fact that you were so clearly a horrible person in bed with the model. An absolute monster? Yeah, I found another story and yet another Esquire article about Roy Cohn that illustrates the. Kind of socialite that he was, and how he exercised his influence. It's a petty tale, but it's a fun one about a restaurant spa called 21. That yeah, quote the restaurant spa of the rich and powerful used to seat Roy Cohn in Siberia, upstairs in a corner with the tourists. One day, Roy called and made a reservation for four at 8:00 PM, purposefully arriving 10 minutes early, he was brusquely led to his usual fare Nook. Promptly at 8:00 PM, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor entered the room. Tin captain stood up as Roy remembers it and tried to steer the Duke and Duchess to a choice. Table from the corner of the room, Roy waved to his dinner guests. They waved back, pulling away from the captains to join their friend. Please, Mr. Cohen, the captain's beseeched him. Allow us to give you a more comfortable table. He wouldn't hear of it. Roy loved it, recalls his boyhood friend William Fugazi. He fixed them. That was his way of showing them. Now he gets the good tables so they don't. They think Roy's gross and they give him the bad table. So he invites the Duke and Duchess of Windsor over and they have to sit in the ****** table with him. And then after that he always gets the good table because you never know who's going to bring. Wow. Because how dare he sit with the tourists? I mean, that's a ******* power move, though. Like, you want to impress me? I'll just. I'll just have the Duke and ******* Duchess of Windsor come in and, like, **** you. I'm Roy Cohn. The man with me again. Yeah, the man knew how to wield power. Yeah. Now Roy, the man who knew how to live, wield power, lived with his mother in her home until her death in 1967. The door to his bedroom held a nameplate that spelled out Roy in the Disney font. He collected hundreds of stuffed frogs and. Had weird exotic pets, including at least one llama. He was a strange dude. Llama. A llama. Yeah, llama at one point there's a pet. Has too much money and time and a huge stuffed frog collection. Stuffed frog collection? Yeah, like like like stuffed frog collection plush. Like, like, like like plush frogs. Like like stuffed animals, but for an emotionally stunted human being. Yeah, never left their childhood. He also used his connections with Studio 50. Four, which gave him an unlimited access to drugs to ensure a constant supply of young men, showed up at his door ready to ****. So basically he pays a lot of these young boys and drugs. He is said to have slept with a new boy each day, and that's probably not an exaggeration. Now, in fairness, Roy was renowned for being one of the very best friends you could have. Unlike his protege Donald Trump, Roy was capable of deep and abiding loyalty, and when he chose to take someone on as a client, he would go to absurd and often illegal lengths to win their cases. In 1964 he was indicted for obstructing justice to get his client off for stock fraud. On one occasion he helped a friend of his out by talking a judge into administering the oath of citizenship to another friend. Completely shortcutting the link. Yeah, so a friend of his is trying to get citizenship for this. I think he might have been Cuban for this filmmaker that he wanted to have work on a project with him and he needed to get the guy citizenship. And he asks Roy, and Roy just tells him show up at this courtroom in Los Angeles at this time and like the guy. Shows up with the dude who needs citizenship in the back of this courtroom. The judge sees them at the particular time and adjourns the court proceedings, calls them up and administers the oath of citizenship. Like, that's the kind of **** that Roy Cohn can fix, right? Like when I say he was the best fixer, he was. Genius at his evil craft, it is. Yes, that the system can be so easily moved is is still. I don't know why we live like this. Yeah, no, because if you if you are a guy like Roy Cohn, none of the none of the bureaucracy exists because you just call a person and you make it happen. Which is why he has the friends he has now. Cohen shenanigans did land him in constant legal trouble. In 1969, he was arrested for bribing a city appraiser. During his court case, his lawyer suffered a likely faked heart attack and Cohen was forced. To mount his own defense, he spoke with no notes for seven straight hours, ending on a long monologue about his love for the United States of America. The jury was moved to tears, and he was acquitted. Oh, come on. Who plays the heart like an instrument. He's amazing, like you. He's one of those people. He's a monster. There is a degree to which you have to respect him because he was ******* good at what he did. He was the best at being Roy Cohn, one of his friends later said of Roy. I was surprised at how absolutely shameless he was about who he was. He had almost a kind of delight in being Roy Cohn. Underneath the social persona of needing to be liked, there was an absolute menace. And for an example of that kind of menace, there was one year where he rented a vacation house at a Florida beach town famed for being a haven for gay men. Roy partied and ****** and he wound up at a number of the same gatherings as John Waters, who despised him. And this is one of the neat things about this John Waters. So all of these people like Andy Warhol, Barbara Walters, are happy to be friends with Roy Cohn. As much of a monster as he was, Walters never. John Waters never falls for it because John Waters is a real one. And when people when, like when waters, his friends would hang out with Roy, he'd be like. Who not ******* know who this guy is? Like, **** you. You cannot be friends with this guy. Look at a good human work. Yeah, no John Waters ******* rules. Waters is as good as you would hope he would be. Yeah, and yeah, so water John Waters, who despised him. And he he was. Hart was horrified that a lot of the younger men didn't know who Roy was and would, you know, have sex with him in exchange for drugs and money. And Roy Cohn's landlady at the time, the woman who raised him this House, gives a fascinating interview for the documentary Bully, Coward, Victim, and she notes that Cohen was always surrounded by people at least two or three, but often more than that. And she, she find, found it particularly striking that the only time she ever saw him alone. Is on the occasions that he would go out for a swim. Every other moment of his life he was surrounded by people. This is a man who almost could not be alone with himself, which I think is important. I mean, listen, when you do a lot of bad things, they're going to hunt you now. His landlady also noted that the at the end of his year there, he offered to buy the house from her and she told him it wasn't for sale. And in her recollection when she said that, his eyes grew very cold and he told her things that aren't for sale have a nasty way of getting sold. Roy Cohn everybody's a threat in? Yeah, just switch to threats. That's how he works. Yeah? Alright. So in 1976 Ron's oldest client, the 84 year old Lewis Rosenstiel net worth $75 million, was on his deathbed in a Florida hospital. Being a good and decent man, Roy arrived to help him sign his last will and testament. Of course, Lewis already had a will. Elderly and ill, Roy was able to convince him that the document he was signing would save one of his ex wives from prison. Instead. It was a revised. Oh, that would have made Cohen a trustee and the executor of Rosenstein's will be amended. Word? Yeah, baby. Yeah, it's great. Now, the amended will was avoided in court, but it gives you an idea of the kind of things that Roy got up to. Yeah, stealing from a dying man? Yeah, of course he's gonna steal from a dying man. That guy doesn't need it anymore. That's bottom of the barrel **** right? What are you doing? You spent his life at the bottom of that barrel. Now, by the close of the 1970s, Roy was at the absolute height of his power, the single most feared lawyer probably in the world. This Esquire profile from 1978 gives you both a rundown of why he was so terrifying and how he was seen by his contemporaries at the apex of his power. I can get attention, no question about it, says Cohen. They know my name. The usual response is, what did I do? His standard technique is to dispatch a threatening letter on behalf of a client. Hey Mr this is now the 11th hour before the monster strikes, is how Roy puts it. Roy symbolizes viciousness in protecting a client or going after someone who needs viciousness to right a wrong, says Bill Fugazy. He fights his cases as if they were his own. It is war. If he feels his adversary has been unfair, it is war to the death. No white flags, no Mr Nice guy, prospective clients who want to kill their husband. Torture. A business partner. Break the government's legs. Hire Roy Cohn. He is a legal executioner, the toughest, meanest loyalist, violist, and one of the most brilliant lawyers in America. He is not a very nice man. Once, when a husband tried to pull a fast one and ordered two moving trucks to sneak up to collect furniture at 7:00 AM, his hysterical wife called Roy. What should I do? She screamed. Sit tight. He calmed her. I'll call the cops. He had the husband thrown in jail. I must have had 50 men call me over the years and ask. We hear Roy Cohen is going to represent my wife. Would you make sure he doesn't rough us up? Says fugazi. The mere sending of a letter from Roy Cohn has saved us a lot of money, says builder Donald Trump. When people know that Roy is involved, they'd rather not get involved in the lawsuits and everything else that's involved. Publishers, TV Networks, editors are accomplished to receiving preemptory phone calls or threatening letters from Cohen, and cringe at the court costs of taking him on. What's really incredible is that he sort of has created the modern wealthy douche. Like if you if you think about all the stuff that happened early on with me too and the director who I will not name but you know who he is producer. Sorry he pulled all those same tactics. I'll just, I'll just call the paper and threatened them because who's going to want to deal with me and this idea that just. If if I can exhaust you legally, not just with my words but also with my financial capital, you just have to bow out. That is so insidious. And I'm not going to say he's the first person to do it, but he was the best and maybe the first person to get that good at it. Like, he's so frightening that after a while he doesn't even really have to argue cases. You just are told that Roy Cohn is involved and you settle because you do not want to ******* step into the ring with Roy Cohn, right? ****. And people like some other lawyers who were. Contemporaries of his will argue like he wasn't actually a good lawyer, he was just good at being frightening. Like, that's that was Roy Cohn's like, skill was scaring the **** out of. People's intimidation is legitimate, man. Absolutely. Especially when going up against the law, which a lot of people don't have, you know, an intrinsic knowledge of. In 1980 Roy Cohn got involved in national politics in a way he really hadn't before. Cohen had of course considered running for office, but his more level headed friends had told him that that would be a terrible idea because he his his closet was nothing but skeletons. It was like one of those monasteries built out of the bones of monks. That's Roy Cohn's closet like just just pure skeletons. So obviously he can't run for office, but he can help his friends get into office and one of his friends was another fellow. You might have heard of Ronald Wilson Reagan. Now hold on. When Ronald started his run for the White House, Roy knew that he had a chance to seat a president who was also a personal friend. Co knew the Reagan's well and the Reagan's new cone as well as anyone ever knew Roy Cohn. Despite being a registered Democrat, Cohen and his partners at the law firm campaigned and raised money for Reagan's campaign. He also engaged in his traditional rat ******* using his young friend Roger Stone. Cohen bribed the Liberal Party, which was a third party at the time, to endorse John B Anderson as a third party candidate in the election. The thinking here was that he would take votes away from Jimmy Carter. Now. When Reagan won the election, the New York Times noted, like lawyer campaigners of all parties before them, the two now have a voice in the appointment of the judges that members of their law firm appear before, and of the United States attorneys who prosecute their clients. Which is obviously a dream for Roy Cohn. Because, again, if you if you got the judge his job or the prosecutor, you're going up against their job. You got a little bit of leverage, don't you? Just just a little bit, yeah, there are. OK. If you were a person who plays by the rules, aren't you supposed to recuse yourself? No. **** that ****. No, no one. No one does that ******** like. Why would you do that ****? But you know who does play by the rules? Joel Whomst the products and services that support this podcast. I'm so glad. Mint Mobile offers premium wireless starting at just 15 bucks a month. And now for the plot twist. Nope, there isn't one. Mint Mobile just has premium wireless from 15 bucks a month. 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Is there anything that we haven't talked about or or I should have asked you or you'd like to add that seems relevant? You should have asked me why I'm missing fingers on my left hand. A story about sacrifice. I think his suffering drove him to try to alleviate suffering. And the shocking discovery I made where I faced the consequences of writing a book I thought would help people? Isn't that funny? It's not funny at all. It's depressing. Very depressing. Religious history is back with more. Listen to revisionist history on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. I've never seen less enthusiasm for a great idea in my life. We're back. So President Reagan certainly had no issues being seen with infamous Cold Warrior Roy Cohn. The president's men actually threw a party for Cohen and his partners after the election, and Roy himself threw one of the best attended parties on Inauguration Day in 1983. Talking about a little quid pro quo. Here we were just talking about how Cohen gets a voice and who gets made a judge. In 1983, Ronald Reagan appointed Marianne Trump Barry, Donald Trump's. Last year to the US District Court, Ohio. OK, cool. That's good. Some good ****. By the early 1980s, some of Roy's lifestyle choices were beginning to catch up with him, namely his choice to never pay taxes. He bragged to 1 interviewer that without question, I hold the world's record for having been audited by the IRS. He was in fact under audit for more than 20 years and eventually charged with yeah, they eventually charged him to for owing more than $3 million in back taxes. Now, none of this stopped cone from living the high life between his firm and his rich friends. Every need was taken care of. Cone even joked readily that he didn't have a bank account. Because the IRS would immediately seize it. And as Esquire reports, Cohen's refusal to pay didn't just extend to the IRS. From January 1970 to December 1977, no less than 28 judgments were filed against Roy in Manhattan State Supreme Court. In 14 separate cases, judges ordered him to pay the state of New York a total of $71,392.61 in three separate judgments. He was ordered to pay the city $9328.10 Dunhill tailors, oil credit card companies, a locksmith, a mechanic, a photo offset. Company, a stationery store and office supply company, temporary office workers, travel agencies, and storage companies have all filed claims against Cohen and seeking payment. These smaller creditors must retain attorneys or bill collectors. It gets pretty expensive. Particularly since Roy Relish is a fight for a relatively small bill, it's often not worth the trouble. Rather than pursue Roy, a Manhattan button store swallowed a $60.00 bill. Asked about these unpaid bills, Roy says that during his nine year legal battle in New York, monies and energy were devoted to survival and there was a total lack of attention to other things. So he just. Didn't pay for anything. And he would be like, yeah, you're gonna sue me, but, like, it's gonna cost you more money to sue me than to just accept that I'm getting some stuff for free. At what point does it go from being civil to criminal, though? Like, theft? Yeah, just he just stole **** when he wanted it. Yes, absolutely. That's Roy Cohn. He was a tremendous ***** ** ****. Now, Roy was also infamous among his friends for never ordering dinner, even when he would take people out to dinner. Instead, he would eat the food from the plates of his guests, grabbing what he wanted and. Board, and again, people, including very powerful people, royalty were just accepted. This, like, this is what happens when you eat with Roy. He's just going to take food off of your plate. And I think that was kind of Roy's point. He's a power moves guy. He's all about power moves. And just like, sitting down and taking food from someone's plate is that is absolutely a power move is disgusting. I don't know where he grows. And you're sleeping with half of New York. Yeah, weirdo. So power, the kind of power that lets you say take. Food off the table of the Duke of Windsor, like power, is what elevated Roy above the other gay men who lived in the United States at the time, including the ones he slept with. It's a big part of why he didn't consider himself homosexual, because homosexuals in this. And Roy's homosexuals are weak. They're downtrodden, they're an oppressed class. And Roy was a powerful man with 1000 men of influence and wealth at his beckon call whenever he needed them. For years, this separated Roy from the other gay men, both in his own head. And in the heads of his wealthy and powerful conservative friends, right, this is what elevates him. I have elevated myself above the you know, I am I I'm not gay because gay people are weak and oppressed, and I am powerful. That's what separates him from them. And because he felt so separated from them, Roy took public positions against gay rights. Even after the lavender scare, when the city of New York proposed legislation that would have provided gay people with protections under the law, Roy fought against it on behalf of his client. In the Catholic Church, he argued that the legislation would dangerously influence young Americans, possibly turning them gay. At one point Roy was asked, but yeah, so sorry, the idea that you could just ******* live like a normal life would turn you gay. **** you, Roy Cohn. **** you so hard, I hope you're riding in hell. At one point, Roy was asked by gay rights activists to represent a teacher who had been fired for his sexual orientation. He refused, and he told them, I believe homosexuals. They're a grave threat to our children and have no business polluting the schools of America. That's you. You're thinking about yourself. But in the end, Royce Power could not save him from the AIDS epidemic that his good old buddy Ronald Reagan failed completely to control or contain. As we covered in our episode on the Reagans and AIDS, the disease was initially referred to as the Gay plague, and since it only affected homosexuals, it didn't only affect homosexuals, but that's what it was seen as, right? Initially, people thought this is just something that gay people deal with. No one in power really cared about it, with the notable exception of C Everett Koop, the surgeon. General who gets some credit? Roy Cohn contracted HIV in 1986, most probably from one of the young men he had brought to him every single day. When it became obvious that Roy was not just sick, but sick with the gay plague, an illness that would irrevocably brand him as a gay man in polite society, Roy turned to his usual tricks. He lied. He claimed he had liver cancer, but the world did not believe him, and the rich and powerful men he'd courted and collected all of his life abandon him. 1 by 1, Donald Trump stopped taking his calls. When Trump was invited to speak at an event hosted by the White House, he thanked Ronald Reagan for appointing his sister to a judgeship, but didn't mention Roy Cohn at all. Roy was devastated by this. Donald ****** ice water, he said. Ohh for not mentioning you Sir. What? Yeah, there's so many. And for ignoring him, yeah, there's so many great things about. Like, so often people don't get their comeuppance in their lifetime, you know? So for the last years of his life to be painful alone, which we already know he didn't like. It's so, so wonderful. Yes, what's really appropriate is that he has spent his life persecuting gay people as a gay man and denying that he is gay, elevating himself above it because of his power. And finally, this is like, what happens to Roy at the end of his life is proof that, like, no, this you are. Always a part of this community, even though you hated it and persecuted it, and you you like the fact that, like, finally something bad was done to them that you couldn't elevate yourself from. You could elevate yourself from the persecution legally, you could elevate yourself from that, but you can't elevate yourself away from from a ******* virus. You know your money could not save you here, although it might have if you had thrown some of it into research and helped protect your brothers and sisters in a very scary time. I will also say that it brings me a lot of joy that Tony Kushner got to explore this in a play. Because you literally is. Yeah. It's fine never to end. It's called angels in America. If you haven't seen HBO's in a pretty good rendition of it, Nathan Lane recently played him on Broadway and it's just wonderful. I think that the gay community gets an opportunity to constantly be like, no, **** that guy. And also to feature generations. Don't be that ******* guy. Don't be that ******* guy. Because you can't. You can't actually **** over your, as you said, your brothers and sisters and get away with it like you will eventually. It's the same thing. Happened to it's kind of in a in some ways, it's the same thing that happened to Roy's uncle, like, your wealth and power will only temporarily, like, elevate you to the ruling class. And as soon as something happens like this, like, you are just another gay man to them. Are you listening, Candace Owens? Do you hear what we're saying now? As Cohen grew sicker and sicker, the law finally caught up with him. He was disbarred by the New York Appellate Court after being convicted on four different counts of ******* in one. Casey failed to pay back $100,000 loan from a client. Losing his license to practice the law was one thing that hurt Roy more than any other blow ever could. He learned about the judgment watching the nightly news. Delicious. Oddly enough, the only one of Roy's old friends who didn't totally abandon him in his hour of need was Ronald Reagan. Now, Reagan did completely cut social ties with him, but he showed some mercy and approved Roy to be added to the testing pool for an experimental AIDS drug. It didn't work though. On August 2nd, 1986, Roy M Cohn. Died at age 59. The IRS confiscated everything he owned as he'd wished. Roy died penniless and deeply in debt to the federal government. Roy is not missed by anyone but Donald Trump, but he is remembered. There is a single square in the AIDS quilt dedicated to Roy M Cohn. His epitaph is 3 words. Bully, coward. Victim. *** **** it. Yes, yeah, yes, yes. What a well, God, I love my community. What a way to just stick it to somebody. Like, not only did you die, not only do we understand who you were, but we still included you in our ******* quilt. You're one of them. One of us. Statements. Yeah, yeah, yeah. You can't escape that one thing you try to do your whole life, you're going to make sure your death you cannot get out of it. Oh, **** that is awesome. That is so awesome. I did not expect a happy ending when we started. But you know, every once in a while, Robert is like, you know what? Here's some like, sprinkle of joy friends. This was really rewarding. Yeah. The happy part of the ending is that Roy, unlike what I I suspect Roger Stone and to some extent, Donald Trump are going to get away with their crimes. Roy didn't. You know, he's the one who's responsible for them. And he did. He he died not able to. It's not that he died. It's that he died unable to pretend that he wasn't what he was. And unable to separate himself from the people that he had attacked and harmed his entire life. Well, right in hell, Roy. I have never again. Gigantic ***** ** ****. Ohh, really bad person. Just a just a monster. A Class A monster. Though, as monsters go, a very fascinating one. Yeah, we were fascinated by the Hitlers and the Hannibal lectors of the world because we don't know how you how did this happen? What what went wrong? And yeah, I'm, I'm just, I'm so, so, so happy that he got what he deserved in the end. And it's fascinating to me because we talked about how, you know, the Red Scare and the lavender scare were allowed to. Continue until Roy and McCarthy picked on a young white man, right, like, like. And then it fell apart for them. And it's kind of the case that the AIDS epidemic was allowed to completely rage out of control and no one in power cared until, like, young white boys who had hemophilia started getting AIDS and then people had to deal with it. It's just, I mean, that through line is so consistent in American history that like, you will ignore this problem until it affects like fresh faced white boys and then. Then we'll start to deal with it because, Oh no, the reason. Exactly the reason we have to constantly be in their face about it. Yeah, we know it's impacting my life now. Yes, deal with it. Good stuff. Good stuff. Roy Cohn. Fun story. Yeah, I really do recommend both. Uh, bully, coward, victim. The documentary about Roy and Umm, where's my Roy Cohn? The other documentary, both right now. They're actually both very good. And Roy is. You just look at the man's face. You can like, it's not like you could if you met him on the street like that is a person I need to stay the **** away from. No, clearly. I was looking when we were talking about Donald Trump in his 20s and then we were talking about David and like all of that. I was like, well, what did Roy look like? In his 20s, he looked like an old man. Yeah, he looks like. He looks like a ghoul. He's a Gollum. He's a monster. Yeah, you've been through too much, Roy, because you clearly there's no youthfulness in you. There's no none of that like, oh, young Spring guide is 20 years he got. No, you were just born in old, crotchety man with hate in your heart. And that's sad. Yeah, he's he's just a. Bad person anyway, Joelle, yes. How do you feel about Roy Cohn? You changing your mind on him at all? No, not at all. But I do feel enriched by his story. I do feel able to better target some of the ******** that are currently running **** and be like, oh, I'm seeing the Direct Line, I'm seeing the ship trying to pull. Roy did that. The extent to which Roy Cohn taught Donald Trump everything he knows. And Roger Stone is really remarkable to me because it is and it's an effective strategy. It's one of those things. There's this. If you talk about them like military strike and not like grand strategy but like actual, like, like tactical level combat, there's this thing called the OODA loop, which is observe, Orient, decide, act, and it's it's a it's an acronym for the series of decisions you go through in like a dangerous situation. In order to like, like, you're being shot at, you have to like, see who's shooting at you, Orient yourself, figure out like where they are, where you are, decide what to do in response and then do it. And that's how you respond, like going through that ODA loop is how you respond. Effectively to violence, and part of successfully winning combat in that sort of sense is to disrupt the opponents OODA loop. Stop them from either seeing what's happening, which is why you have would use like a smoke grenade. Stop them from orienting themselves, stop them from deciding what to do or stop them from acting. You have to disrupt that OODA loop, and it's the same thing in any sort of confrontation. And Roy's strategy, and the strategy that Donald Trump picked up from him, is to be constantly disrupting that loop in his opponents. That's why you're always on the attack. That's why you never respond to anything they say. That's why you never answer any of the questions they raise about you. You just keep making more attacks because if they attack you back, they're wanting you to respond. And if you ignore that and just throw another hit out at them, you can disrupt them, get them off balance, and that's how you win. It's very effective. Effective in the moment. But I think as we're seeing with Donald Trump long term, unless you happen to have like work on level genius, you just can't. It doesn't stand up like it does it eventually people are like, OK, but we do need to solve. Yeah, like the whole reason we came here, you you eventually run into a problem that you can't defeat that way. And actually, for both Roy Cohn and for Donald Trump, it was a virus, right. Like. Aids first. Like, you can't you can't attack the AIDS virus, like you can't, like, yell at it into submission. You can't scare it. And there's the same thing with the with the coronavirus, you can't. There's only so far lying can get you with a virus. So, and now I'm thinking about just the role of fear and how. Just a combination of ignorance and fear has totally warped our country multiple times. Yes, like almost systemically throughout its existence has been fundamentally changed by the fact that people didn't know enough and then were horrified to try to do anything to stop it. I mean, the only reason Trump got in the first time is information and fear and greed on behalf of the media. Because he was good for business. Yeah. Yeah, good stuff. OK, take a nap now, alright? Yeah. OK Robert, thanks for being on this. Has been behind the ********. I don't know. Go. I don't know, like something on fire. Whatever be you live. Your truth. Unless you're Roy Cohn, then don't do that. Yeah. Uh, all right, we're done. Hello, I'm Erica Kelly from the podcast Southern Fried True crime, and if you want to go from podcast fan to podcast host, do what I did and check out spreaker from iheart. I was working in accounting and hating it. Then after just 18 months of podcasting with Spreaker, I was able to quit my day job. Follow your podcasting dreams, let's break or handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to That's Hey there, it's Ebony Monet, your co-host for the San Diego Zoo's Amazing Wildlife podcast. In this special episode, we're speaking with Doctor Jane Goodall about the fascinating journey that led to her impactful behavioural discoveries on chimpanzees. It wasn't until one of the chimpanzees began to lose his fear of me, but I began to really make discoveries that actually shook the scientific world. 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