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Trump's top lawyer threatens critic who emailed him: 'Watch your back'

Marc Kasowitz, shown in 2005, has represented Donald Trump in matters related to divorce, bankruptcy and allegations of sexual harassment and fraud. (Getty Images)
Marc Kasowitz, shown in 2005, has represented Donald Trump in matters related to divorce, bankruptcy and allegations of sexual harassment and fraud. (Getty Images)

President Trump's chief private attorney in the ongoing Russia inquiry says he acted inappropriately when he threatened a stranger in a series of profane emails Wednesday night.

New York attorney Marc Kasowitz, who has represented Trump in several legal matters over the years, appeared to be set off by an email from a retired public relations professional who told Kasowitz he ought to resign, according to messages obtained by the investigative nonprofit ProPublica news site.

"Marc, You don't know me. I don't know you," the man wrote to Kasowitz, apparently in response to a recent ProPublica report alleging that Kasowitz was struggling with alcohol abuse. "But, I believe it is in your interest and the long-term interest of your firm for you to resign from your position advising the President re. pending federal legal matters. No good can come from this and, in fact, your name may ... turn out to be a disparaging historical footnote to the presidency of DJT."

According to screenshots posted by ProPublica, Kasowitz immediately responded with a profanity, followed by a series of threatening, profane messages, including:

— “I’m on you now. You are ... with me now Let’s see who you are Watch your back....”

— "Call me. Don’t be afraid, you piece of .... Stand up. If you don’t call, you’re just afraid.”

— “I already know where you live, I’m on you. You might as well call me. You will see me. I promise. Bro.”

In response to a query from the Los Angeles Times, Kasowitz's spokesman, Mike Sitrick, said that "while no excuse, the email came at the end of a very long day that at 10 p.m. was not yet over," and he said Kasowitz intends to apologize to the writer.

“The person sending that email is entitled to his opinion and I should not have responded in that inappropriate manner,” Kasowitz said in a statement provided through his spokesman. “I intend to send him an email stating just that. This is one of those times where one wishes he could reverse the clock, but of course I can’t.”

Kasowitz has previously represented Trump in matters related to divorce, bankruptcy and allegations of sexual harassment and fraud. After Trump won the presidency, he hired Kasowitz in May to represent him in any matters related to the widening inquiry into Russia's involvement in the 2016 presidential election.

But ProPublica reported earlier this week that Kasowitz does not have a security clearance to review sensitive information related to the investigation and doesn't expect to get one. The report said problems with alcohol might disqualify a person from receiving such a clearance.

A spokesman for Kasowitz later disputed parts of the report, saying the attorney "has not struggled with alcoholism" and did not come into the office intoxicated.

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