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Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios
Michael Cohen has spent his career making Donald Trump’s problems disappear. Now he’s the problem Trump can’t possibly make vanish.
During his decade of work for the Trump Organization, Cohen — a 51-year-old Long Island native — had a tiny 26th floor office within sight of Trump's sumptuous corner domain:
Why Cohen matters, from a former Trump campaign official:
Be smart ... A source who's in frequent contact with the West Wing told me: "POTUS' worries about Cohen are reflected in his dark moods."
Axios is about collisions — how the worlds of business, tech, media and politics are increasingly and inextricably intertwined.
It's hard to imagine a more emblematic, evocative collision than the revelation in court yesterday that Fox News star Sean Hannity — Trump adviser, kibitzer and cheerleader — was an undisclosed client of Michael Cohen's.
Hannity's relevance, if any, to the feds' interest in Cohen is unknown. Here's what happened, per The Times:
What Hannity said on his Fox show last night (video):
This is an especially big deal in light of the WashPost's report Sunday night that President Trump is a "reluctant hawk" on Russia, baffling his staff with a recent tantrum when he thought the U.S. had overreacted to Moscow ...
"President Trump on Monday put the brakes on a preliminary plan to impose additional economic sanctions on Russia, walking back a Sunday announcement by U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley" on CBS's "Face the Nation," the WashPost reports in its lead story:
Two penguins are released back into the water today at Shelly Beach in Sydney, Australia, after Taronga Wildlife Hospital veterinarians nursed them back from dehydration, a fishing hook injury and a broken foot.
Trump shakes hands with Comey during a Blue Room reception on Jan. 22, 2017. Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
As James Comey's "A Higher Loyalty" goes on sale today, NPR's Steve Inskeep and Carrie Johnson ask him on "Morning Edition" about his criticisms of President Trump’s appearance, including his penchant for long neckties:
About Trump's tweets over the weekend suggesting Comey could face jail for giving up classified information and lying to Congress:
Terry Gross of "Fresh Air" asked Comey, who as deputy attorney general appointed special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald in the Scooter Libby case, if he sees Trump's pardon of Libby as a personal attack:
After more than two years of exploring why American politics is so broken, Jon Ward of Yahoo News today posts his conclusion: weakened political parties, driven by "the deeper issue of a loss of understanding even of what institutions are and why they exist."
"Some say that global democracy is experiencing its worst setback since the 1930s and that it will continue to retreat unless rich countries find ways to reduce inequality and manage the information revolution," Foreign Affairs editor Gideon Rose writes in his introduction to the new issue:
Shot .... President Trump op-ed for USA Today: "On this Tax Day, America is strong and roaring back. Paychecks are climbing. Tax rates are going down. Businesses are investing in our great country. And most important, the American people are winning."
Chaser ... USA Today lead story: "GOP groups and candidates have run nearly 17,800 spots this year that tout tax reform, according to a USA TODAY analysis of television advertising. The barrage has forced Democrats to retaliate with commercials that slam the tax cuts."
Ahead of next Tuesday's White House state dinner for French President Emmanuel Macron, Vanity Fair's The Hive posts an interview by Tom Sancton, with photos by Annie Leibovitz, from the May issue:
Photo: Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images for NARAS
"On Monday, the Pulitzer Prize Board awarded Kendrick Lamar the Pulitzer Prize for Music for his 2017 masterpiece DAMN. ... DAMN. is the first non-classical, non-jazz album to win the award in its 75-year history," Billboard reports. From their interview with Pulitzer Prize Administrator Dana Canedy:
"[T]hey were considering a piece of music they felt had hip-hop influences and said, 'Well if we're considering a piece of music that has hip-hop influences, why aren't we considering hip-hop?' And someone said, 'That's exactly what we should do.' And then someone said, 'We should be considering Kendrick Lamar' and the group said 'absolutely.'"
Thanks for reading. See you on Axios.com!