Updated May 3, 2018

Michael Cohen goes through the wringer for Trump

Photo: Yana Paskova/Getty Images

Michael Cohen is in trouble. NBC's report that federal investigators "monitored" the phone lines of President Trump's longtime personal lawyer [NBC initially said Cohen was wiretapped] — and intercepted a call between Cohen and the White House — is the latest in a string of reports that reveal the broad scope of the federal government’s investigation.

Why it matters: Things are closing in, rapidly, on Michael Cohen. The repercussions will be felt heavily in the White House, as Cohen, Trump's "fix it" lawyer, is heavily intertwined in Trump’s professional, political, personal, legal and family life. He is, as Axios' Mike Allen put it, "the man with secrets few others hold."

How things unraveled
  • Last year, Cohen was drawn into Mueller's Russia investigation for his contacts with Russians during Trump's 2016 presidential campaign.
  • In February, Cohen said he paid Stormy Daniels, the adult film star alleging she had an affair with Trump, $130,000 during the Trump campaign with his own funds.
  • Last month, federal investigators raided Cohen's office, hotel room, and home, and took records and payments relating to Stormy Daniels' case as well as communications between Trump and Cohen.
  • Last night, Trump's new lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, told Fox's Sean Hannity that the president had actually repaid Michael Cohen for his $130,000 payment to Daniels, despite Trump previously denying any knowledge of the arrangement.
  • In a string of early morning tweets, Trump also admitted to reimbursing Cohen for the $130,000 payment.
  • And today, two sources "with knowledge of the legal proceedings involving Cohen" told NBC that the federal government "monitored" Cohen's phone lines in the weeks leading up to their raids on his office, hotel room, and home in early April.
What we don't know
  • It's still unclear what Cohen is being investigated for. Following last month's raids, The Washington Post reported that Cohen "is under federal federal investigation for possible bank fraud, wire fraud and campaign finance violations," citing three people with knowledge of the case.
View from the White House
  • Giuliani told the Washington Post's Robert Costa that "when he read NBC report, he was furious. 'If they picked up the president, they would have had to notify him.' Said if true, wld be a 'mockery' of attorney-client privilege and 'gov't misconduct.'"
  • And what a former Trump campaign official told Mike Allen last month still rings true: “The guys that know Trump best are the most worried. People are very, very worried. Because it’s Michael [effing] Cohen. Who knows what he’s done?"

Editor's note: NBC News reported today that Trump lawyer Michael Cohen's phone was wiretapped in the weeks prior to the FBI raid. They later corrected their story on air, noting that federal authorities were “monitoring” Cohen's phone calls but not listening to them as previously reported. This story has been updated to reflect that correction.

Go deeper

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

Brazil on Monday recorded for the first time more deaths from the novel coronavirus in a single day than the United States, Reuters notes. Brazil reported 807 deaths from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, compared to 620 in the U.S. for the same period.

By the numbers: Almost 5.5 million people have tested positive for the virus as of Monday, and more than 2.2 million have recovered. The U.S. has reported the most cases in the world (over 1.6 million from 14.6 million tests). The U.K. is reporting over 36,900 deaths from the coronavirus — the most fatalities outside the U.S.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8:30 p.m. ET: 5,490,954 — Total deaths: 345,962 — Total recoveries — 2,228,915Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8:30 p.m. ET: 1,662,250 — Total deaths: 98,218 — Total recoveries: 379,157 — Total tested: 14,604,942Map.
  3. World: Italy reports lowest number of new cases since February — Ireland reports no new coronavirus deaths on Monday for the first time since March 21 — WHO suspends trial of hydroxychloroquine over safety concerns.
  4. 2020: Trump threatens to move Republican convention from North Carolina — Joe Biden makes first public appearance in two months.
  5. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks over Memorial Day.
  6. Economy: New York stock exchange to reopen its floor on Tuesday — White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Charities refocus their efforts to fill gaps left by government.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

In photos: Authorities issue warning as Americans venture out for Memorial Day weekend

Ocean City in New Jersey on May 25. Photo: Donald Kravitz/Getty Images

Authorities urged Americans to maintain social distancing and wear masks to protect against the spread of the novel coronavirus amid reports of packed beaches and bars during the Memorial Day weekend.

Details: Law enforcement stepped up beach patrols, and there were crowded scenes in several places, notably at Lake of the Ozarks bars in Missouri and at Daytona Beach and on the Gulf Coast in Florida, per AP. Police dispersed crowds in some places, ABC notes. But many Americans did take precautions against COVID-19 as they ventured outside for the long weekend, some three months after the pandemic began in the U.S.