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Eva Hambach/AFP/Getty Images

Trump lawyers Jay Sekulow and Rudy Giuliani tell Reuters' Karen Freifeld that they — along with fellow Trump lawyers Jane and Marty Raskin — spent at least 10 hours with the Mueller report at the Justice Department before it was public:

What they're saying: "The lawyers said they gave up their cellphones and other electronic devices before being led into a Justice Department conference room in a restricted area known as a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF)."

  • They were there Tuesday from about 4 pm until at least 9 pm, and Wednesday from 10:30 am to 3:30 pm, ahead of Thursday's release.

Meanwhile, Trump's euphoria is giving way to anger and recrimination, Bloomberg's Shannon Pettypiece and Jennifer Jacobs report:

  • "People close to him are worried Trump has begun to stew over news coverage of the report, which has focused on Mueller’s documentation of the president's efforts to interfere in the investigation and deceive the public."

Former White House counsel Don McGahn, a star witness in the report, in a statement from his lawyer, William Burck:

  • "It's a mystery why Rudy Giuliani feels the need to re-litigate incidents the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General have concluded were not obstruction. But they are accurately described in the report."
  • "Don, nonetheless, appreciates that the President gave him the opportunity to serve as White House Counsel and assist him with his signature accomplishments."
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Go deeper

Dems race to address, preempt stimulus fraud claims

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Biden officials are working to root out the systematic fraud in unemployment and Paycheck Protection Program claims that plagued the Trump administration’s efforts to boost the economy with coronavirus relief money, Gene Sperling told House committee chairmen privately this week.

Why it matters: President Biden just signed another $1.9 trillion of aid into law, with Sperling tapped to oversee its implementation. And the administration is asking Congress to approve another $2.2 trillion for the first phase of an infrastructure package.

1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Biden close to picking Nick Burns as China ambassador

Nicholas Burns. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Nicholas Burns, a career diplomat, is in the final stages of vetting to serve as President Biden’s ambassador to China, people familiar with the matter tell Axios.

Why it matters: Across the administration, there's a consensus the U.S. relationship with China will be the most critical — and consequential — of Biden's presidency. From trade to Taiwan, the stakes are high. Burns could be among the first batch of diplomatic nominees announced in the coming weeks.

Biden's Russian sanctions likely to achieve little

President Biden announces new sanctions against Russia. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Despite bold talk from top administration officials, there's little reason to think the Russia sanctions package President Biden announced Thursday will do anything to alter Russian President Vladimir Putin's behavior or calculus.

Why it matters: While it's true some elements of the package — namely, the targeting of Russia's sovereign debt — represent significant punitive measures against Moscow, it leaves plenty of wiggle room for the Russian president.