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Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

President Trump's lawyer Jenna Ellis has informed associates she tested positive for the coronavirus, multiple sources tell Axios, stirring West Wing fears after she attended a senior staff Christmas party on Friday.

Driving the news: There are concerns about the potential for another White House superspreader event, though it was unclear whether Ellis posed a risk when she attended. Ellis declined to confirm the diagnosis to Axios.

  • "People brought their families," said one senior White House official who attended the party and has since been informed of Ellis' diagnosis.
  • The revelation follows Sunday's news that Ellis' legal sidekick Rudy Giuliani was hospitalized after testing positive.

Behind the scenes: Ellis showed up to the White House senior staff party in the East Wing on Friday as the guest of Trump trade adviser Peter Navarro and was not seen wearing a mask, according to sources who attended the indoor event.

  • "She had the nerve to show up at the senior staff Christmas party knowing everyone was furious with her for constantly stirring Trump up with nonsense," said a senior administration official.
  • Ellis and Giuliani have fanned conspiracy theories about Trump's loss to Joe Biden as they have sought to keep alive legal challenges or avenues to overturn the election's results.
  • The official said the news of her diagnosis after attending the party compounded this anger.

The bottom line: When I gave Ellis visibility of my reporting on Monday night — that she had tested positive and that some senior staff weren't happy — she replied that it was "rude" to text her after midnight, adding, "You must be more informed than me because I haven't heard that."

  • Three senior White House officials told Axios they had been informed of Ellis' diagnosis.
  • I followed up by asking Ellis repeatedly whether she wanted to deny our reporting that she has COVID and had informed the White House of this fact. Ellis did not reply.
  • Navarro did not respond to a request for comment.

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Several states report zero COVID deaths for the first time in months — CDC says schools should still universally require masks and physical distancing.
  2. Politics: New York to lift mask mandate for vaccinated people — CDC director says politics didn't play a role in abrupt mask policy shift.
  3. Vaccines: Sanofi, GSK COVID vaccine shows strong immune response in phase 2 trials — Vaccine-hesitant Americans cite inaccurate side effects — 600,000 kids between 12 and 15 have received Pfizer dose since FDA authorization.
  4. Business: How retailers are responding to the latest CDC guidance — Delta to require all new employees be vaccinated — Target, CVS and other stores ease mask requirements after CDC guidance.
  5. World: World's largest vaccine maker expects to resume exports by end of 2021 — Biden administration to send 20 million U.S.-authorized vaccine doses abroad.
  6. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Jan 29, 2021 - Health

NYC set to restart indoor dining in February, weddings in March

Outdoor dining in New York City in January. Photo: Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday that if the current coronavirus positivity in New York City holds, indoor dining will reopen at 25% capacity on Feb. 14, one of the busiest dining days of the year.

Why it matters: The forced closure of indoor dining in December caused major backlash, as New York's struggling restaurant industry had already been hit hard by pandemic restrictions. Restaurants will still be required to close at 1o p.m.

Jan 29, 2021 - World

EU grants conditional approval of AstraZeneca vaccine

Photo: Sunil Ghosh/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

The European Commission on Friday granted conditional approval of the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine for people 18 years and older.

Why it matters: This is the third vaccine to receive approval from the commission, coming hours after the Emergency Medicines Agency recommended its authorization.