Michael Cohen explains shout-out to prison pals ‘Tony Meatballs’ and ‘Big Minty’


President Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen raised eyebrows this week when he name-dropped some new pals he made in federal lockup.

In a now-viral clip from a Monday interview on MSNBC’s “The Beat with Ari Melber,” he said he filed a lawsuit seeking federal prison reform “because I made a promise to guys back at Otisville, like my buddies Tony Meatballs and Big Minty, that I wasn’t going to stop once I got out, once I was put back on home confinement.”

Some online questioned whether he was referring to Anthony “Tony Meatballs” Gifoli — a 72-year-old wise guy who starred in another viral story when he was named last month as part of a sweeping federal indictment targeting South Philly members of La Cosa Nostra.

But Cohen told The Post Tuesday that the prison pal he gave a shout-out to this week is not a made guy — just a jailhouse cook who makes “amazing meatballs.”

“Our ‘Tony Meatballs’ isn’t a gangster,” Cohen said in a text, adding that the unnamed convict just “ran the kitchen” in upstate Otisville Correctional Facility, where Cohen served time.

“We called him Tony Meatballs because he made the most amazing meatballs,” Cohen said in a follow-up phone call. “You would think you were eating at Rao’s.”

Cohen wouldn’t identify his Tony Meatballs by name.

He said the prison reform lawsuit he filed would “benefit all eligible federal inmates and require the Bureau of Prisons to calculate each and every one of their earned time credits, thus reducing their sentence and remanding them to either home confinement or statutory release.”

Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison in 2018 after pleading guilty to campaign finance fraud and tax evasion stemming from payments to women claimed to have had affairs with Trump.

The former legal fixer was released to home confinement in May over concerns of the coronavirus spreading behind bars.

In July, Cohen was spotted dining not at Rao’s, but at Le Bilboquet, a French restaurant near his Park Avenue apartment.

Last week, he filed a separate lawsuit claiming he should be released from home confinement before his sentence runs out in November 2021.

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