When someone in Donald Trump's orbit faces scandals that cannot be easily explained away, two things tend to happen. The first is that the president and his team downplay any real association with the person in question, effectively pretending Trump barely knows him or her.
We've seen this on multiple occasions -- see Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn, Carter Page, and George Papadopoulos, among others -- and a similar push is underway with Michael Cohen, Trump's longtime fixer. Despite their close associations, the president dismissed the relevance of the work his lawyer has done on his behalf, saying Cohen has handled "a tiny, tiny little fraction" of Trump's overall legal work.
But there's something else that happens when someone close to the president runs into trouble: the National Enquirer, Trump's allied supermarket tabloid, takes aim at the controversial figure.
All of which leads to the tabloid's newest edition. USA Today reported:
If the National Enquirer is a weathervane for unfolding events in Trumpland, embattled lawyer Michael Cohen may be heading for a rendezvous with a bus. [...][I]n its cover story, the Enquirer's front-page headline trumpets "Trump Fixer's Secrets & Lies," with a subhead reading: "Payoffs and threats exposed."
For what it's worth, the tabloid's article doesn't appear to "expose" anything we didn't already know about Cohen and his many troubles, but that's not really the point.
What matters is the fact that the National Enquirer keeps going after those close to Trump after they become politically inconvenient to the White House.
As Rachel explained on the show last year, the tabloid may not be a reliable source for news, but it's become "a little bit of a Rosetta stone for decoding where this White House is going next."
And in this case, where Team Trump appears to be going is away from Michael Cohen.