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Photo: Mikhail Tereshchenko/TASS via Getty Images

Former Trump associates Felix Sater and Michael Cohen considered giving Russian President Vladimir Putin a $50 million penthouse at the top of the planned Trump Tower they discussed building in Moscow, BuzzFeed News’ Jason Leopold and Anthony Cormier report.

Why it matters: Cohen entered a guilty plea Thursday morning over lying to Congress about his conversations with Russians over the Moscow tower deal, which he says he did to protect Trump's campaign.

The details: Top U.S. law enforcement officials told BuzzFeed News that Cohen discussed the deal with Putin's press team.

  • It's not clear if Trump knew of the discussions about awarding Putin the penthouse.

The big picture: Trump’s associates were negotiating the real estate deal as he was running for president in the U.S., and the penthouse would have been a steal at a significantly slashed price compared to other potential buyers.

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
8 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Democrats' billionaires tax explained

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

There is now legislative language behind the push to tax American billionaires on unrealized capital gains, as Sen. Ron Wyden last night released his 107-page plan.

Why it matters: This would be a sea change in U.S. tax policy, which has only applied to realized gains (otherwise known as income).

54 mins ago - World

Scoop: Blinken protests Israel settlements approval in "tense" phone call

Benny Gantz (L) and Tony Blinken. Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/Pool/AFP via Getty

Secretary of State Tony Blinken protested the decision to approve 3,000 new housing units in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank during a tense phone call on Tuesday with Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz, three Israeli officials tell me.

Why it matters: This is the first time new construction in the settlements has been approved since President Biden assumed office, and the Biden administration had been privately pressing the Israeli government not to proceed.

The startup that wants to disrupt big internet providers

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

A new startup backed by funding from AOL founder Steve Case and Laurene Powell Jobs wants to break up broadband monopolies across the country.

Why it matters: Internet access has been crucial during the pandemic, but it's not ubiquitous, and it can be both slow and unaffordable in swaths of the country.