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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

"Atmospheric river" swings Northern California from drought to flood

Satellite view of the bomb cyclone swirling off the coast of the Pacific Northwest and the atmospheric river affecting California on Oct. 24. Photo: CIRA/RAMMB

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are delivering historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest.

Why it matters: The atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, was causing Northern California to whiplash from drought to flood, as it slowly moved south overnight. It's triggered widespread power outages, flooding and mudslides.

Updated 1 hour ago - World

U.S. threatens to cut aid to Sudan after military takeover

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok during a 2020 news conference in Khartoum, Sudan. Photo: Mahmoud Hjaj/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Sudan's civilian Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok was put under house arrest and several other ministers were detained Monday in what appears to be a military coup in the country, per local reports.

The latest: The head of the military faction of the Sudanese government, Gen. Abdul Fattah al-Burhan, said in a statement that he is announcing a state of emergency, suspending several parts of the interim constitution and dissolving the civilian government and interim sovereignty council — the highest governing body in the country.

Facebook's pivotal week

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

They're battening down the hatches at Facebook headquarters this week as the company faces a trifecta of tumult: a continuing wave of negative press coverage fueled by document leaks, a critical earnings report Monday and a reported name change looming.

The big picture: All this is unfolding as Mark Zuckerberg tries to transform Facebook from a social network into the prime mover behind a new "metaverse" of VR- and AR-driven remote work and play.