President Donald Trump's former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen spoke about leaving Trump's inner circle and writing his new tell-all book about his one-time boss during an appearance on "Late Night With Seth Meyers" Thursday night.
Meyers joked that Cohen, who is now serving out a prison sentence from home due to the coronavirus, was his first "home confinement guest" on the show. "You're a trailblazer," he said with a laugh.
While still in prison, Cohen used his time to write "Disloyal, a Memoir" about Trump and his presidency. The tome was published earlier this week. Cohen told Meyers that prison was a "conducive" environment for book-writing.
"I was working at the sewer treatment plant and there was a lot of free time, believe it or not," Cohen said. "I would put myself into the electric room that had a small desk and on a yellow pad, I would begin to write."
Some of his fellow inmates even knew he was writing a tell-all book. At the end of the day he would have a group of friends to his cube for a reading.
"I would read them different parts of the book that I was working on, and it was just something that we did to pass our time," he said.
Cohen began serving a three-year prison sentence last year after a conviction for financial crimes and lying to Congress. He was released in July to continue his sentence from home amid the pandemic.
Cohen's biggest fear, he said, was that the manuscript would leak while he was in prison. He kept it under his mattress, but one day there was an "incident" -- reportedly a dispute with another inmate -- and he thought a guard would come to take him to solitary confinement and find it. According to Cohen, some of the officers were Trump supporters, and he worried they would leak it.
But it was the night before Passover, so Cohen said he burned the manuscript in a fire pit the rabbi had outside of the prison that Jewish inmates used to burn food with leaven.
"I bet you're one of the few people who have used Passover for that purpose, Michael," Meyers joked.
Vanity Fair previously reported that Cohen's wife had another copy of the manuscript on a thumb drive.
Five years ago, Meyers said, his show spoke with Cohen about having Trump as a guest on "Late Night," to which Cohen responded he would do it if Meyers apologized for jokes he made about Trump at the White House Correspondents Dinner.
Cohen said he had to stroke the president's ego like this "on a regular basis," adding Trump "directed" him to do it, he didn't do it on his own.
The former lawyer compared the Trump administration to a "cult" that he was "excommunicated from" because of his legal proceeding, or perhaps because of "Trump and his cronies deciding I should be the fall guy."
Cohen may not have ever left Trump's side if he hadn't been forced out, he said.
"It's the one thankful thing that I am, for everything that has happened. It's given me an ability to amend with my wife, my daughter, my son, and actually the country," he said.
Cohen also appeared on "NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt" earlier this week, where he called Trump a racist "cult leader" who disparaged former President Barack Obama and other Black leaders, as well as the city of Chicago.
Last month, Cohen recorded a campaign ad against Trump with a warning: don't "believe a word he utters."
The White House has dismissed Cohen's book as "fan fiction."
"He readily admits to lying routinely but expects people to believe him now so that he can make money from book sales," White House deputy press secretary Brian Morgenstern said in a statement.
Cohen has said he lied for the president's benefit.