Dec 1, 2018

Cohen spoke with White House staff about false statements to Congress

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Image

Michael Cohen's lawyer stated in a Friday court filing that Cohen "remained in close and regular contact with White House-based staff and legal counsel" to President Trump — called "Client-1" in the document — while he was preparing inaccurate statements to Congress about Russian contacts.

The big picture: Cohen's new guilty plea is the first time that special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation has "come alive with pre-presidential actions and entanglements by Trump himself," as previously reported by Axios' Mike Allen. Cohen's lawyer says in the filing that Cohen and Trump "discussed possible travel to Russia in the summer of 2016, and Michael took steps to clear dates for such travel." It also says that Cohen kept Trump "apprised" of conversations he had with the assistant of a Kremlin official about the Moscow tower project.

One more thing: Cohen is also cooperating with the New York Attorney General's office in its case against the Trump Foundation, his lawyer says in the filing.

Go deeper: Read Michael Cohen's guilty plea

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Scoop: Census Bureau is paying Chinese state media to reach Americans

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The 2020 Census Paid Media Campaign, which sends U.S. taxpayer dollars to community media outlets to run ads about the upcoming census, is including a Chinese state-run broadcaster as one of its media vendors.

Why it matters: After China's yearslong campaign to co-opt independent Chinese-language media in the U.S., Washington is now paying Beijing-linked media outlets in order to reach Chinese Americans.

Go deeperArrow28 mins ago - World

Live updates: Coronavirus spreads to Latin America

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

Brazil confirmed the first novel coronavirus case in Latin America Wednesday — a 61-year-old that tested positive after returning from a visit to northern Italy, the epicenter of Europe's outbreak.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,700 people and infected over 81,000 others. By Wednesday morning, South Korea had the most cases outside China, with 1,261 infections. Europe's biggest outbreak is in Italy, where 374 cases have been confirmed.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health

GOP congressman accuses California pension official of working for China

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

The latest season of Red Scare has come to Sacramento.

Driving the news: Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) has repeatedly accused Ben Meng, chief investment officer of the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS), of tacitly working on behalf of the Chinese government. Banks also says that, were it up to him, Meng would be fired — and has questioned the patriotism of California Gov. Gavin Newsom for not at least investigating Meng.

Go deeperArrow2 hours ago - World