Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

A subsidiary of drug manufacturer Novartis paid nearly $400,000 to a company controlled by Michael Cohen, Trump's personal lawyer, according to the New York Times.

Why it matters: Novartis is not the only large company that reportedly made substantial payments to Cohen's firm, which aren't disclosed like traditional lobbying activity and will undoubtedly raise questions about whether those corporations were paying for access to the president.

  • The company, Essential Consultants, is the vehicle through which Cohen made his now-famous payment to Stormy Daniels.
  • The payments were made in four installments, between October 2017 and January 2018, per NYT.
  • Novartis said its relationship with Cohen's company has expired.

At an absolute minimum, it's not a great look. These payments are in the news because a firm tied to a Russian oligarch also reportedly paid Essential Consultants for its services. With both a possible Russian connection and a Stormy Daniels connection, this story won't be going away anytime soon.

Go deeper

Supreme Court expands religious freedoms in schools, employment

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Supreme Court ended its term with a series of rulings on religion's role in schools, the workplace and access to health care.

Why it matters: The decisions elevated protections for people and employers of faith, while curtailing those of religion teachers, the nonreligious taxpayer and women who rely on their workplaces' health care plans for contraception.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 12,573,041 — Total deaths: 561,865 — Total recoveries — 6,915,740Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 3,213,902 — Total deaths: 134,420 — Total recoveries: 983,185 — Total tested: 38,919,421Map.
  3. Public health: Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter: "Please wear a mask to save lives" Fauci hasn't briefed Trump on the coronavirus pandemic in at least two months — We're losing the war on the coronavirus.
  4. Food: How the coronavirus pandemic boosted alternative meat.
  5. Sports: Charge of "money grab" by college football.
  6. World: India reimposes lockdowns as coronavirus cases soar.
  7. 🎧 Podcast: Rural America has its own coronavirus problem.

Scoop: Don Jr. plans convention-week Biden book

Cover via Don Jr.

Donald Trump Jr., in quarantine since girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle tested positive for the coronavirus, says he's used the time to finish a book that he'll self-publish the week of the Republican convention, at the end of August.

What he's saying: Don Jr., whose controversial blasts connect with President Trump's base, told me in a phone interview that "Liberal Privilege" will be his effort to paint a picture of Joe Biden and his record that the press ignores.