Michael Cohen — whose "Disloyal," out yesterday, is the No. 1 Amazon bestseller — told MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Tuesday night in a show-long interview:

  • "If you look at just the books that have come out recently — Mary Trump's book, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff's book, my book — it's kind of like the trifecta of truth."
  • "We all seem to be pointing to the same thing: [President Trump] is devoid of empathy."

Why it matters: Never before has a sitting president been hit by so many blistering books, so many times, in a one-month period. Bob Woodward, armed with a reported 17 interviews with Trump himself, will be out Sept. 15 with "Rage," which Trump is already attacking.

Other Cohen highlights:

  • On Trump's financial records: "I think it poses a tremendous threat to the president, which, of course, is why he elected not to release his tax returns."
  • On Trump's praise for Vladimir Putin: "Trump is keen on this power. And whether it's Putin, Mohammed bin Salman, the Kim Jong-uns, the Maduros, it's the power that he is so involved with and so in search of, that this is exactly what he believes.”
  • On National Enquirer hit pieces on Trump's opponents: "Whoever was rising in the poll, that's who became the person that we needed to knock out of the race. ... [Salacious rumors] would be provided to me by David Pecker. I would immediately take them into Mr. Trump's office, we would sit down, we would talk about it, he would approve it and then I would contact David. Next thing you know, two days later on the front cover, Marco Rubio has a drug problem."

Go deeper

The apocalypse scenario

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Democratic lawyers are preparing to challenge any effort by President Trump to swap electors chosen by voters with electors selected by Republican-controlled legislatures. One state of particular concern: Pennsylvania, where the GOP controls the state house.

Why it matters: Trump's refusal to commit to a peaceful transfer of power, together with a widely circulated article in The Atlantic about how bad the worst-case scenarios could get, is drawing new attention to the brutal fights that could jeopardize a final outcome.

Sanders: "This is an election between Donald Trump and democracy"

Photo: BernieSanders.com

In an urgent appeal on Thursday, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said President Trump presented "unique threats to our democracy" and detailed a plan to ensure the election results will be honored and that voters can cast their ballots safely.

Driving the news: When asked yesterday whether he would commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses, Trump would not, and said: "We're going to have to see what happens."

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
2 mins ago - Health

The long-term pain of the mental health pandemic

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A less visible but still massive trauma caused by the coronavirus is becoming clear: our mental health is suffering with potentially long-lasting consequences.

Why it matters: Mental health disorders that range from schizophrenia to depression and anxiety exert a severe cost on personal health and the economy. Addressing that challenge may require out-of-the-box solutions.