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Michael Cohen arrives with his lawyers at the United States District Court Southern District of New York. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Friends of Michael Cohen have noticed that since Trump's Helsinki press conference with Vladimir Putin he's been more openly questioning Trump's fitness to be president. "It's one thing for him [Cohen] to be concerned about his suitability to be president," a knowledgeable source told me. "It's quite another thing to be concerned about his [Trump's] loyalty to his country."

The source added that Cohen was sending a public signal to this effect when he tweeted, on Monday after Trump's Helsinki press conference: "As I said to @ABC @GStephanopoulos, "I respect our nation's intelligence agencies who determined that Russia, had in fact, interfered or meddled in our democratic process. I repudiate Russia's effort...and call on all Americans to do the same."

Why this matters: The Trump-Cohen relationship broke down a while ago, but now the investigation of Cohen is heating up — with the NYT revealing that Cohen secretly taped Trump — the two have dispensed with the public pretense of loyalty.

  • The question of what Cohen knows about Trump is now a far more compelling question than it was in the days when Cohen would tell anybody who'd listen that he'd take a bullet — and, no doubt, lie — for his boss.

Bottom line: When I texted Cohen today he declined several opportunities to deny he made these comments to friends. He told me he "cannot comment about someone's innuendo." When I replied to Cohen that the sourcing was solid and would he like to contest the way I was characterizing his thinking, he, revealingly, would not do so.

Sneak Peek: Get more stories like this from Jonathan Swan by signing up for our weekly political lookahead newsletter, Axios Sneak Peek. 

Go deeper

Why America's post-vaccine summer is off to a slow start

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Americans are itching to put pandemic life behind them, but many of the necessary ingredients for a summer of carefree fun — everything from neighborhood pools to car rentals — still aren't fully available.

The big picture: Labor shortages, scrambled supply chains and simple logistics are all making it harder for a whole range of businesses to meet post-pandemic demand, and that’s making “hot vax summer” a little harder to pull off.

2021 set to become deadliest year on record for trans Americans

Data: Human Rights Campaign; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

28 transgender and gender non-conforming people — nearly all Black and Latina women — have been killed this year, according to the Human Rights Campaign, which has tracked such deaths since 2013.

Why it matters: At this time last year, there were only 13 known killings of trans people, per the HRC. If this current pace continues, 2021 will be on track to significantly beat last year's all-time record.

DOJ leak probe sought Apple data on 73 phone numbers

Photo: Kevin Dietsch via Getty Images

The Justice Department requested metadata on 73 phone numbers and 36 email addresses in a subpoena to Apple as part of a February 2018 investigation into lawmakers, staffers and their families, CNN reported Friday.

Why it matters: The DOJ's inspector general said earlier Friday that his office will investigate the department's handling of a leak investigation into former President Trump's political opponents, which included the subpoena to Apple.