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Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Rudy Giuliani called President Trump this week to say he was joking when he told reporters that he has "insurance" if the president "throws him under the bus," Giuliani's attorney told Reuters.

Why it matters: Giuliani is a central figure in the impeachment inquiry against Trump and has publicly said that he pushed for investigations in Ukraine with Trump's knowledge. Amid new revelations that federal prosecutors are now investigating Giuliani's activities in Ukraine, Trump has denied sending him to Ukraine to dig up dirt on his political opponents.

What they're saying: Giuliani's attorney Robert Costello told Reuters: "He shouldn’t joke, he is not a funny guy. I told him, 'Ten thousand comedians are out of work, and you make a joke. It doesn’t work that way.'"

  • Giuliani already said he was being sarcastic in making the comment, and Trump has dismissed the remarks.
  • "[Costello] said Giuliani 'at my insistence' had called Trump 'within the last day' to emphasize that he had not been serious when he said he had an 'insurance policy, if thrown under the bus,'" Reuters notes.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
13 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).

59 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.