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Saturday
Apr162011

Donald Trump's Advisor: Democrat Turned Trump Loyalist

Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The man behind Donald Trump's possible 2012 presidential campaign is a registered Democrat who voted for Barack Obama in 2008. Not only that, but Michael Cohen, an executive at the Trump Organization who doubles as Trump's chief political advisor, once volunteered for 1988 presidential candidate Michael Dukakis and worked for a Democratic member of Congress.

But since Obama's election in 2008, he said he has grown disappointed with the president, so much so that he now describes himself as "offended" by the administration's agenda. America, Cohen said, has become a "third-world nation," echoing words that have become a familiar refrain of Trump's.

His distaste for Obama, and Trump's professed interest in pursuing the Republican nomination in 2012, led Cohen, businessman Stewart Rahr and other supporters to create "Should Trump Run?" as a way both to spark -- and gauge -- interest in a potential Trump presidential bid.

With Trump stoking new speculation about his political ambitions every day, Cohen said "the phones have not stopped ringing, the fax machine is off the hook" and his email inbox is clogged. More than a few of those messages have to do with the issue that has catapulted Trump into the headlines recently -- birtherism.

"I am certain that the president was born in Hawaii -- I really am," Cohen said. "I am most irritated with the fact that this president has been exceptionally secretive when it relates to any personal documentation about his past. If you run on a platform of transparency, you should be transparent."

Cohen was the aide who flew to Iowa in a private plane bearing Trump's logo to meet with Republican operatives there in March. He said he may make a similar trip to another crucial early nominating state -- New Hampshire -- in the weeks to come.

Cohen said he sees no conflict in his advocacy for Trump now and his past support for Obama.

"I'm prepared to put the fact that I voted for Obama to the side," he said. I'm more concerned now about my children, future grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and everybody's children and families. I'm more concerned about them than I am about party affiliation."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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