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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Wall Street billionaire Leon Black expressed remorse for his personal business and philanthropic relationship with Jeffrey Epstein on Monday in a letter sent to investors and obtained by Axios.

Driving the news: Black's letter follows a bombshell New York Times report that revealed that ties between Black, co-founder and CEO of Apollo Global Management, and Epstein were deeper than previously disclosed, including upward of $75 million changing hands.

In the letter to limited partners in Apollo funds, Black reiterated past statements that Epstein was never involved in Apollo business and that he engaged Epstein in "estate planning, tax and philanthropic endeavors."

  • Black also wrote that his family was with him during a visit to Epstein's infamous island estate and that he occasionally met at Epstein's townhouse because Epstein didn't maintain a separate office.
  • He also said he will cooperate with all legal inquiries into Epstein.

Read the letter.

Go deeper: Axios Re:Cap podcast talks to NY Times business reporter Matthew Goldstein about today's bombshell report. Listen here.

Go deeper

Exclusive: Biden ads court young Black men in final campaign stretch

Photo: Screengrab via YouTube/Joe Biden

The Biden campaign is releasing five ads on Tuesday targeting millennial Black men in 16 battleground states.

Why it matters: Black voters overwhelmingly prefer Democrat Joe Biden, but President Trump actually is earning more support nationally from Black men than he received in 2016 — 17%, up from 14%. Biden is pushing to halt the trend and maximize his own turnout, which could make a difference in tight contests.

Toyota to build $1.3 billion U.S. battery plant in North Carolina

The all-electric Toyota bZ4X, the company's first battery-electric vehicle, at the Los Angeles Auto Show in Los Angeles, California on Nov. 17. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

Toyota announced Monday it's investing $1.3 billion to construct an electric vehicle battery "megasite" near Greensboro, North Carolina, set to open in 2025.

Why it matters: Toyota's Prius hybrid won environmental plaudits when it launched in 1997, but it has since lost ground to electric vehicle world leader Tesla, per Axios' Joann Muller. This battery plant will be the first to produce automotive batteries for Toyota in North America.

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Congress hunts for shortcut to pass defense funding, debt limit combo

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer returned to his office Monday. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

The scramble in Congress to pass the National Defense Authorization Act is being complicated by an effort to tie it to a needed hike in the federal debt limit.

Why it matters: The House and Senate are rapidly coming up against a series of deadlines they must address before the end of the year — or risk disrupting crucial military funding and upending the economy. Congressional leaders are now hoping they can knock out both "must-pass" priorities in one, complex swoop.