Feb 19, 2018

How Michael Cohen protects Trump from scandal

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.

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Alaska becomes latest state to issue coronavirus stay-at-home order

Data: Axios reporting; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Alaska issued a mandate Friday evening for all people in the state to "remain at their place of residence and practice social distancing" except for those engaged in essential services, including health care and government functions, effective Saturday at 5 p.m.

The big picture: This is the latest state to announce policies to enforce social distancing. More than 1.5 billion people worldwide were asked to stay home Monday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 13 mins ago - Health

Focus group: Minnesota swing voters balk at Trump's Easter deadline

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A group of Midwestern swing voters that supported President Trump's handling of the coronavirus less than two weeks ago is balking at his call for the U.S. to be "opened up" by Easter, saying they'll tolerate business closures for as long as it takes to contain the spread.

Why it matters: Their feedback suggests that some voters otherwise mostly supportive of the president — and who still see financial threats outpacing health threats — aren't so tired of social distancing that they're willing to risk ending it too quickly.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 a.m. ET: 607,965 — Total deaths: 28,125 — Total recoveries: 132,688.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 7 a.m. ET: 104,837 — Total deaths: 1,711 — Total recoveries: 894.
  3. Federal government latest: President Trump signed the $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill to provide businesses and U.S. workers economic relief.
  4. State updates: North Carolina is latest state to issue stay-at-home order — New York is trying to nearly triple its hospital capacity in less than a month.
  5. World updates: Italy reported 969 coronavirus deaths on Friday, the country's deadliest day.
  6. Business latest: President Trump authorized the use of the Defense Production Act to direct General Motors to build ventilators for those affected by COVID-19. White House trade adviser Peter Navarro has been appointed to enforce the act.
  7. 🏰 1 Disney thing: Both Disney World and Disneyland theme parks in the U.S. are closed until further notice.
  8. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancing.
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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