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Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

I can't overstate the level of anxiety among sources close to Trump after the president told the NYT's Maggie Haberman last week he was willing and eager to submit himself to a live interview under oath with Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

What I'm hearing: One source, who knows Trump as well as anyone, told me he believes the president would be incapable of avoiding perjuring himself. "Trump doesn't deal in reality," the source said. "He creates his own reality and he actually believes it." (The president's attorney, Ty Cobb, did not respond to a request for comment.)

A number of people in the president's orbit have read this article by Bloomberg's Timothy O'Brien: "I've Watched Trump Testify Under Oath. It Isn't Pretty."

In the article, O'Brien writes:

  • "Speaking from experience, I think the president's attorneys should grab their worry beads. Trump sued me for libel in 2006 for a biography I wrote, "TrumpNation,' alleging that the book misrepresented his business record and understated his wealth. Trump lost the suit in 2011, but during the litigation my lawyers deposed him under oath for two days in 2007.
  • "Trump ultimately had to admit 30 times that he had lied over the years about all sorts of stuff: how much of a big Manhattan real estate project he owned; the price of one of his golf club memberships; the size of the Trump Organization; his wealth; his speaking fees; how many condos he had sold; his debts, and whether he borrowed money from his family to avoid going personally bankrupt.
  • "He also lied during the deposition about his business dealings with career criminals."

Be smart: Trump's lawyers are already signaling they are deeply uncomfortable about the prospect of a live, freewheeling session between Trump and Mueller. Shortly after Trump made his brash declaration, Trump's attorney John Dowd told CNN: "I will make the decision on whether the President talks to the special counsel... I have not made any decision yet."

Worthy of your time: The Washington Post has a juicy story on how Trump — who is obsessed with personal loyalty — remains perilously at odds with his own Justice Department.

Go deeper

Biden to nominate Janet Yellen as Treasury secretary

Photo: Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden is preparing to nominate former Fed Chair Janet Yellen as his Treasury Secretary, four people familiar with the matter tell Axios.

Why it matters: Yellen, 74, will bring instant economic celebrity to Biden’s team and, if confirmed, she will not only be the first female Treasury Secretary but also the first person to have held all three economic power positions in the federal government: the chair of Council of Economic Advisers, the chair of Federal Reserve and the Treasury Secretary.

2 hours ago - Podcasts

Bob Nelsen on AstraZeneca and his plan to revolutionize biotech

AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford on Monday reported promising efficacy data for their COVID-19 vaccine, which has less stringent storage requirements than the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines and may be distributed earlier in developing countries.

Axios Re:Cap digs into the state of vaccine and therapeutics manufacturing with Bob Nelsen, a successful biotech investor who on Monday launched Resilience, a giant new pharma production platform that he believes will prepare America for its next major health challenges.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Updated 2 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Unpacking Joe Biden's decision to tap John Kerry as his climate envoy

Photo: Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden is naming former Secretary of State John Kerry as a special presidential envoy for climate change.

Why it matters: The transition team's announcement sought to show that it will be an influential role, noting that Kerry — a former Massachusetts senator and the Democrats' 2004 presidential nominee — will be on the National Security Council.