Donald Trump's chief political adviser says he doesn't know if Trump will run for president — but rejects speculation that he's only out for attention.
"I've heard that before and I put no credence into that type of comment," Trump Organization executive vice president Michael Cohen told TheWrap. "Mr. Trump truly does not need any additional attention for 'The Apprentice.' It's been a top-rated show for eleven seasons."
Also read: Donald Trump for President: Are You Serious?
Cohen, who was characterized in an ABC News profile Monday as Trump's "pit bull," co-founded the website "Should Trump Run?" and went to Iowa last month to test the waters for a run. He talked to TheWrap Monday about Trump's changed stance on abortion, whether people take his allegations about President Obama's birthplace seriously and what he thinks of Lawrence O'Donnell's theories.
Do you think there's anything that would keep Donald Trump from running at this point?
That's a good question. I wish i could turn around and tell you the answer. … I certainly hope that he elects to do it. The pundits that are out there that all think that they know: I don't know the answer, so how could they? Where do they get that?
There's been a lot of speculation that he's only doing this to promote his show.
He's a magnet. He's a media magnet. The second he announced his intent to possibly run for president it's been a media frenzy. And then he made a couple of statements regarding a couple of positions… and the possibility of the president not having a valid birth certificate, et cetera, et cetera, and the media has just flocked to him.
Do reporters seem to take the birth certificate questions seriously?
Fifty-five percent of Republicans in America do not believe that he was born in this country. [Eds note: It's unclear which poll Cohen is citing, but a poll in February placed the number at 51 percent.] There are a fair number of reporters who call acknowledging the possibility and a fair number of reporters who call questioning why someone as intelligent as Donald Trump would believe this conspiracy theory. But I would say the numbers are very close to equal.
Do you think he can make it through a Republican primary? Could conservative voters be offended that he's been married repeatedly and has changed his stance on abortion from pro-choice to pro-life?
The fact is, yes, he was married twice. And he's currently married to a wonderful woman. I've overheard him say to another reporter, "Trust me, it was not easy being married to me." The man works 24/7.
Mr. Trump, like anyone, is permitted to change their opinion as they see fit.
Is he worried about making it through the primary?
MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell has said this is a "fake campaign" and that he hopes "to use NBC's renewal of his show as the reason why he cannot run for president."
My statement to Lawrence O'Donnell is he should worry about himself and the ratings for his program. And not use Donald Trump to elevate them.