- The Washington Times - Monday, July 20, 2015

Michael Cohen, executive vice president of the Trump Organization and special counsel to Donald Trump, said Monday that Mr. Trump isn’t looking for controversy and that other Republican candidates are attacking him because they’re worried about the real estate mogul’s position in the polls.

“I don’t think Donald Trump meant to insult anybody, and I don’t think he did insult anybody,” Mr. Cohen said of Mr. Trump’s recent comments about Sen. John McCain of Arizona. “They want to take three words out of [a] sentence, and then they want to just run with it.”

Rick Perry, the same thing with Marco Rubio — they jump on it; why?” Mr. Cohen said on CNN’s “New Day.” “Because they see Donald Trump trending higher and higher and higher, and this race is running away from them. And they’re concerned about it. That’s exactly why they’re doing what they’re doing — they’re jumping onto a wrong bandwagon.”

“The only guy that’s smart about it is Ted Cruz, where he wants to stay out of it: ‘John McCain’s a friend of mine; Donald Trump’s a friend of mine. I’m not commenting,’ ” Mr. Cohen said.

Mr. Perry and Mr. Rubio, two of Mr. Trump’s rivals for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, have criticized Mr. Trump’s comments over the weekend. Mr. Trump said Mr. McCain, a prisoner of war for more than five years in Vietnam, is a war hero because “he was captured” and that “I like people that weren’t captured, OK?”

“Until Mr. Trump apologizes directly to John McCain and also to the veterans of this country, I don’t think he has the character or the temperament to hold the highest position in this country,” Mr. Perry said this week on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Mr. Rubio said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” that the comments are offensive to all prisoners of war.

“It’s not just absurd. It’s offensive. It’s ridiculous. And I do think it is a disqualifier as commander in chief,” Mr. Rubio said.

“Trump is not going anywhere — he’s leading in the polls; guys like Rick Perry and Marco Rubio — they are concerned,” Mr. Cohen said. “Rick Perry turns around and says, ‘Oh, Donald Trump shouldn’t be allowed on the debate stage.’ ”

“I can tell you for a fact because I’ve spoken to people at the GOP and they’ve told me that they are getting bombarded by phone calls from various different candidates who are all concerned and do not want Donald Trump on that stage because he is going to dominate the stage, and they’re really concerned: What’s he going to say about me when I turn around, and I make a statement?” Mr. Cohen said. “They’re really very, very concerned, and they don’t want him, and they don’t want him in this presidential race.”

Mr. Perry did say on “Meet the Press” that he is “real comfortable being on the stage with him and confronting him on a host of issues he’s just wrong on.”

Mr. Cohen said Mr. Trump is simply raising the issues of the day.

Donald Trump is not looking for controversy — what he’s looking for is to make America great again,” he said. “That’s what he’s doing. … Donald Trump is bringing to the forefront issues that Americans are talking about every day but don’t have the voice to be heard.”

Donald Trump is bringing to the forefront all the big issues that are out there; he’s going to start talking about other issues as well, and I guarantee that it’s going to also end up dominating the media simply because why? Because Donald Trump said it,” he said.

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