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April 23, 2018

President Trump attacked New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman on Twitter Saturday — which happened to be Haberman's daughter's birthday, she told CNN's Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota on Monday's New Day. Trump was reacting to an article Haberman co-wrote about Trump's reportedly abusive treatment of lawyer/fixer Michael Cohen and speculation on whether Cohen would flip on Trump if prosecutors threaten him with a long jail term.

Trump's tweets drew special scrutiny because of the bizarre Haberman attack and because it wasn't clear who he was calling a "drunk/drugged-up loser" — Haberman guessed it was Sam Nunberg, not Roger Stone, because Trump is "too aware of what Stone could do to him to be that direct" and has been scared of Stone "for years." The topic is clearly "hitting a nerve" with Trump, and he and his lawyers "are very anxious" about the Cohen investigation, Haberman told CNN.

"The story was really not about destroying their relationship — the president has destroyed their relationship pretty handily on his own over a long period of time," Haberman said. Trump "is abusive, according to almost everybody I speak to, to most people in his orbit, and family not excepted from that. But he is particularly abusive to Cohen over the years, and then the question becomes, does that come back to haunt him?" Cuomo jumped in to point out that nobody knows what charges, if any, Cohen faces, but "everybody knows" Trump's description of Haberman's skills and sources "is silly. There are few reporters that he's given more access to."

Cuomo and Haberman went on to analyze the "drugged-up loser" part of Trump's tweet and how it fits in with his compassionate campaign rhetoric about the opioid crisis. "This is how he really feels about addicts," Haberman said. "We know that he had a brother who died of alcoholism, we know that he considers addiction to be weak." Peter Weber

April 17, 2018

On Tuesday's New Day, CNN's Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota tried to get a handle on the bombshell that dropped on their cable news competitor Fox News on Monday, when a lawyer for Michael Cohen reluctantly revealed in court that along with President Trump and Republican fundraiser Elliot Broidy, Cohen's third client was Fox News star Sean Hannity. Hannity and Cohen's team had different interpretations on whether Cohen was really Hannity's lawyer, and Hannity himself offered a confusing mixture of explanations.

"Fox isn't saying a word about this, and it's going to be a mystery for both Hannity's viewers, as well as for his critics, as well as for his bosses," media critic Brian Stelter said. "I think this story tells us how Trump World really works and how tight knit the relationships really are. It's a reminder about all of these men and their relationships going back decades."

Political analyst Chris Cillizza said that the normal conflict-of-interest rules at Fox News don't apply to Hannity, who is "bigger than Fox," in some ways. But despite Hannity's protestation, "this has nothing to do with your right to privacy!" he added, using sandwiches to explain why Hannity was clearly out of line. Camerota noted that Bill O'Reilly was bigger than Fox News, too, but not big enough to keep his job when his settlements with multiple women became public. That made Cuomo nervous. "This is very different than that," he said. Hannity "said it's never involved a third party. We don't know anything different. I wouldn't put him in the same basket with Bill O'Reilly, not by a big stretch."

Also on New Day, legal analyst Carrie Cordero said that "if the statements that I saw from Hannity yesterday are accurate statements, I don't think it looks like there is any legal privilege between" him and Cohen. Peter Weber