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Michael Cohen walking down Park Avenue. Photo: Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images

Michael Cohen, former personal attorney for President Trump, claims Trump approved "going ahead with" the 2016 Trump Tower meeting, in which Donald Trump Jr. and other Trump campaign officials met with Russians to offer the Trump campaign dirt on Hillary Clinton, reports CNN.

Why it matters: Cohen's claim contradicts denials by Trump, Trump Jr., their lawyers and administration officials who say then-candidate Trump was unaware of the meeting until he was approached about it by the New York Times in July 2017. Cohen said he is willing to testify in the Mueller investigation, but does not have any corroborating evidence other than his claim.

The details: Cohen claims that he, along with several others, was present when Trump was informed of the offer from the Russians and then-candidate Trump approved going ahead with it.

The backdrop: Cohen testified last year privately to both the Senate and House Intelligence Committees on Russian interference , but CNN reports that he did not testify then that Trump knew about the meeting beforehand.

  • To this point, it has been unclear what Trump knew about the meeting. Donald Trump Jr. initially said he did now know whether his father knew about the meeting.

Between the lines: This is yet another step in Cohen's full heel turn on Trump. He has been more vocal against the president in recent weeks, saying Trump isn't his "first loyalty" and questioning his fitness for the presidency.

Go deeper

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A mass COVID-19 vaccination site at Dodger Stadium on Jan. 22 in Los Angeles, California. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

The U.S has confirmed more than 25 million coronavirus cases, per Johns Hopkins data updated on Sunday.

The big picture: President Biden has said he expects the country's death toll to exceed 500,000 people by next month, as the rate of deaths due to the virus continues to escalate.

GOP implosion: Trump threats, payback

Spotted last week on a work van in Evansville, Ind. Photo: Sam Owens/The Evansville Courier & Press via Reuters

The GOP is getting torn apart by a spreading revolt against party leaders for failing to stand up for former President Trump and punish his critics.

Why it matters: Republican leaders suffered a nightmarish two months in Washington. Outside the nation’s capital, it's even worse.

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6 hours ago - Economy & Business

The limits of Biden's plan to cancel student debt

Data: New York Fed Consumer Credit Panel/Equifax; Chart: Axios Visuals

There’s a growing consensus among Americans who want President Biden to cancel student debt — but addressing the ballooning debt burden is much more complicated than it seems.

Why it matters: Student debt is stopping millions of Americans from buying homes, buying cars and starting families. And the crisis is rapidly getting worse.