Photo: Evan Vucci/AP

Although it has been known that Republicans first hired the firm behind the Trump-Russia dossier, it wasn't known which Republican group hired them — until now. The Washington Free Beacon, a conservative website, hired Fusion GPS (the firm) in 2015 to collect damaging information on various Republican presidential candidates, per NYT. They reportedly told Fusion GPS to stop collecting research on Trump when it became clear he was going to become the party's nominee.

Why it matters: The Free Beacon's chairman told NYT they had nothing to do with the dossier that the firm ultimately produced. "The Free Beacon had no knowledge of or connection to the Steele dossier, did not pay for the dossier, and never had contact with, knowledge of, or provided payment for any work performed by Christopher Steele," they said in a statement.

Don't forget: Fusion GPS has been in the news once already this week. Earlier, it was reported that Hillary Clinton and the DNC paid the firm to conduct research about Trump and his business dealings, which led to the dossier.

Big picture: Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe is certainly going to focus on the Trump-Russia dossier at some point. The Clinton-DNC news suggests that it was an attempt to discredit Trump, at least initially, and tied closely to her campaign. And The Free Beacon's New York hedge fund billionaire, Paul Singer, further complicates things with Trump: he has visited the White House and earlier he donated $1 million to the Trump's inaugural fund.

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Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9:45 p.m. ET: 19,282,972 — Total deaths: 718,851 — Total recoveries — 11,671,491Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9:45 p.m. ET: 4,937,441 — Total deaths: 161,248 — Total recoveries: 1,623,870 — Total tests: 60,415,558Map.
  3. Politics: Trump says he's prepared to sign executive orders on coronavirus aid.
  4. Education: Cuomo says all New York schools can reopen for in-person learning.
  5. Public health: Surgeon general urges flu shots to prevent "double whammy" with coronavirus — Massachusetts pauses reopening after uptick in coronavirus cases.
  6. World: Africa records over 1 million coronavirus cases — Gates Foundation puts $150 million behind coronavirus vaccine production.

Warren and Clinton to speak on same night of Democratic convention

(Photos: Abdulhamid Hosbas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images, Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Hillary Clinton both are slated to speak on the Wednesday of the Democratic convention — Aug. 19 — four sources familiar with the planning told Axios.

Why it matters: That's the same night Joe Biden's running mate (to be revealed next week) will address the nation. Clinton and Warren represent two of the most influential wise-women of Democratic politics with the potential to turn out millions of establishment and progressive voters in November.

Trump considering order on pre-existing condition protections, which already exist

Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump announced on Friday he will pursue an executive order requiring insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions, something that is already law.

Why it matters: The Affordable Care Act already requires insurers to cover pre-existing conditions. The Trump administration is currently arguing in a case before the Supreme Court to strike down that very law — including its pre-existing condition protections.