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Michael Cohen (center), Trump's longtime lawyer. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images.

President Trump's longtime lawyer Michael Cohen has been protecting him from scandal for years, according to a New York Times review of records, emails and interviews.

How he does it: "[T]he lawyer relied on intimidation tactics, hush money and the nation’s leading tabloid news business, American Media Inc., whose top executives include close Trump allies. ... [He] maneuvered in the pay-to-play gossip world — populated by porn stars and centerfold models, tabloid editors and lawyers with B- and C-list entertainment clients."

The scandals he's helped shield the president from include allegations that Trump paid porn star Stormy Daniels $130,000 to keep quiet about their alleged affair; former Playboy model Karen McDougal's allegations that she and Trump had an affair; allegations from multiple women during the 2016 election that Trump had sexually harassed them; and a former hedge-fund manager who in 2015 said he had a photo of Trump autographing a woman's bare breasts.

Why it matters: No other president in modern history has faced as many controversial allegations involving porn stars and Playboy models as Trump. Although the stories almost always come out, Cohen has consistently managed to control the damage and Trump isn't affected by them much.

Go deeper with the full NYT story.

Go deeper

20 mins ago - World

Iran agrees to resume Vienna nuclear talks in November

Ali Bagheri (R) with Enrique Mora in Tehran on Oct. 14. Photo: Iranian Foreign Ministry handout via Getty

Iran's new chief nuclear negotiator said following a meeting in Brussels on Wednesday that Iran would resume negotiations in Vienna before the end of November, with the exact date to be set next week.

Why it matters: The Vienna talks have been frozen since Iran's new hardline president, Ebrahim Raisi, was elected in June. This is the most direct commitment from Raisi's government to return to the negotiating table.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Democrats' billionaires tax explained

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

There is now legislative language behind the push to tax American billionaires on unrealized capital gains, as Sen. Ron Wyden last night released his 107-page plan.

Why it matters: This would be a sea change in U.S. tax policy, which has only applied to realized gains (otherwise known as income).

COP26 head warns Glasgow summit will be "harder than Paris"

Alok Sharma, U.K. COP26 president, in Milan on Sept. 30, 2021. Photo: Stefano Guidi/Getty Images

U.K. COP26 President Alok Sharma told reporters Tuesday that the upcoming talks in Glasgow, widely viewed as the last chance to avoid some of the worst consequences of global warming, will be extremely difficult.

Driving the news: Sharma sought to temper expectations and note that the agenda features some of the toughest items that negotiators have punted on at previous summits.