Matt Tyrnauer: Chronicler of Trump’s Mentor Roy Cohn


Of her father then, he said, “I spent a day with him going around the house, which was un-redone, and he was, as many people who spend time with him say, very charming and not unpleasant to be with. There were things that happened that day that were unforgettable. One is that in every room, he would stop and put his hand on my shoulder and say, ‘Hey, buddy, are you O.K.? Can I get you anything to eat? You want a shrimp cocktail or something?’

“Here I am underfoot with a tape recorder and a notebook and a pen in my hand and I’m trying to write down every baroque detail of the room I’m in and I keep thinking, ‘How am I going to eat a shrimp cocktail?’ And then we go to the next room and he’s like, ‘Are you sure you don’t want a shrimp cocktail?’”

Mr. Tyrnauer said that when he talked to Marla Maples’s mother, who was helping out with the baby, she confided about the still-unmarried couple: “I told Marla if she doesn’t marry him quick, then she’s making a big mistake.”

And, Mr. Tyrnauer said, when the fashion editor dispatched from Vanity Fair ruled out Mr. Trump’s choice of a canary yellow cashmere sweater, they had to cut Mr. Trump out of it with scissors to save his canary coif for the photo shoot.

In the documentary, Mr. Tyrnauer interviews one ex-lover of Mr. Cohn and three cousins, including the writer Anne Roiphe. They described Mr. Cohn’s mother, Dora Marcus, as a domineering woman who, when a maid in her employ dropped dead, stored the body under a serving table in the kitchen while she continued Passover dinner.

When Gary Marcus, a cousin, asked the first question of Passover, “Why is this night different from all other nights?” Dora blurted out, “Because the maid is dead in the kitchen.”

By Maureen Dowd

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