Samantha Blake Cohen wants you to know that her father is not a perv.
The 21-year-old University of Pennsylvania undergrad was thrust into an awkward controversy last night after her father, Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen, tweeted out a racy picture of her to his 218,000 followers. The tweet in question featured the comely Cohen perched on a bed in just a bra and black leggings, moodily gazing at the floor. Cohen extolled his daughter in typical Trumpian prose: “So proud of my Ivy League daughter…” he wrote, “brains and beauty channeling her Edie Sedgwick.”
— Michael Cohen (@MichaelCohen212) May 15, 2017
Needless to say, his endorsement did not go exactly as planned. Soon after it appeared, the tweet provoked vigorous responses from over 1,200 people, most of whom decried the poster for sexualizing his own daughter.
Thousands shared this typical tweet from Bonnie Bratnober: “POTUS wants to date his daughter, the VP calls his wife ‘mother’, and DJT’s attorney posts spank-bank material of his daughter.”
Mr. Cohen replied directly to Bratnober with a one-word question: “Jealous?”
When another user pointed out how bizarre it was for a father to post a photo of his daughter clad solely in underwear, the lawyer was even less restrained: “Beauty and brains you a-hole!” he tweeted.
What does Ms. Cohen herself think of the controversy? Not much. We emailed her on a whim this morning, and were surprised to receive this passionate response:
“My father does not think I’m ‘hot’ and him posting a professional photo taken of me in a bra and pants does not mean he sexualizes me,” she wrote. Cohen says the picture was an early proof from a recent fashion shoot that was conceived as an homage to tragic Warhol superstar Edie Sedgwick, who died of an overdose in 1971.
“There is nothing inappropriate in the picture,” Cohen continued, “and those who seek to make it something it is not are merely Trump haters who are using this as an opportunity to stir up drama. I find it hypocritical that those who consider themselves liberal would criticize a woman embracing her body…it is tasteful and it is demure. ”
Michael Cohen has worked as Trump’s personal attorney for over a decade, but he’s faced increased scrutiny ever since he was prominently mentioned in the notorious “dossier” prepared by former-MI6 Agent Michael Steele, which claimed that the lawyer had traveled to Prague to meet secretly with Russian officials.
Last year, as the presidential election neared, he created a furor while defending Trump against allegations that he had sexually assaulted several women. Trump suggested that the accusers should be ignored because they weren’t attractive enough for him to assault. “I think what Mr. Trump is really trying to say is that they’re not somebody that he would be attracted to and therefore the whole thing is nonsense,” Cohen said at the time.
For her part, Cohen’s daughter believes that the firestorm over her photo is little more than a political hit. “This is an example of the media blowing things out of proportion and using an easy target, a young woman, as a vehicle to tear down other young women…How would you feel if people thought your father was sexualizing you? Wouldn’t you feel hurt and embarrassed? You would? So just because you don’t agree with his politics doesn’t mean you have to succumb to a level of bullying.”
Read her full statement below:
I finished a rough semester with a 3.75 gpa this spring, was asked to model for an up and coming photographer and just received some of the proofs. My father, who has always been supportive of my endeavors, was merely expressing his pride. There is nothing inappropriate in the picture and those who seek to make it something it is not are merely Trump haters who are using this as an opportunity to stir up drama. I find it hypocritical that those who consider themselves liberal would criticize a woman embracing her body. There is nothing sexualized about the photograph. It is homage to Andy Warhol and Edie Sedgwick, it is tasteful and it is demure. There is nothing inappropriate about my taking the photograph or my father’s decision to share it. I am ashamed at these people for their reactions and believe it indicated more about their own perverted mindsets as nothing they are saying has any merit nor is it rooted in any truth. Regardless of what my parent’s profession is, it’s incredibly inappropriate for the press to get me, a young woman involved in this political drama. And furthermore, to try to paint my family as incestual is degrading and downright disgusting. My father does not think I’m “hot” and him posting a professional photo taken of me in a bra and pants does not mean he sexualizes me. This is an example of the media blowing things out of proportion and using an easy target, a young woman, as a vehicle to tear down other young women. I understand we live in such a politically charged time but I think we need to step back for a moment and think, are we fighting the opposing team just because they’re the other team? And are we engaging in behavior that we wouldn’t want to subject our own to? How would you feel if people thought your father was sexualizing you? Wouldn’t you feel hurt and embarrassed? You would? So just because you don’t agree with his politics doesn’t mean you have to succumb to a level of bullying. And yes you are bullying!