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Michael Cohen leaves the U.S. Courthouse in New York. Photo by Hector Retamal/AFP via Getty Images

Lanny Davis — a lawyer for Michael Cohen, President Trump's former lawyer and fixer — tells me that, following last night's release of a secret Trump-Cohen recording, we'll soon learn more "about what Michael Cohen saw and heard."

In an astounding spectacle, Davis released to CNN a tape of Cohen talking with Trump, who was apparently being taped without his knowledge, about buying the rights to a Playboy model's story about an alleged affair.

  • "When Cohen tells Trump, 'We'll have to pay,' Trump is heard saying 'pay with cash' but the audio is muddled and it's unclear whether he suggests paying with cash or not paying," CNN reports.
  • CNN debuted the audio in prime time last night, and soon MSNBC was also playing the tape.
  • The FBI seized the tape in a raid on Cohen's office in April. Cohen cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller is one of the scenarios Trump advisers fear most.

Davis, a damage-control maestro going back to the Clinton administration, told me: "Michael Cohen has made a turn. This is on the record — Michael and I talked about it."

  • "Michael is going to tell the truth to the powers that be, and let the chips fall where they may."
  • "I've used this line too many times, but who talks about cash like that besides drug dealers and mobsters?"
  • Davis said that the tape's release sends the message: "I am no longer the previous Michael Cohen that you knew — taking a bullet for Donald Trump, saying anything to defend him, being a good soldier. ... That is over."
  • Davis said he was unable to say what Cohen's next move is: "I’m not saying there are more tapes as telling as [this] one, ... but there are more tapes. ... There is more to come."

Rudy Giuliani, a Trump lawyer, told Fox News' Laura Ingraham that the tape is exculpatory for the president.

  • Rudy: "I agree with you the tape is a little bit hard to hear. But I assure you that we listened to it numerous, numerous times. And the transcript makes it quite clear ... that President Trump says 'don't pay with cash.'"
  • Lanny Davis said that response amounts to: "Don't believe your lying ears."
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Updated 29 mins ago - World

Mexican President López Obrador tests positive for coronavirus

Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador during a press conference at National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico, on Wednesday. Photo: Ismael Rosas/Eyepix Group/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced Sunday evening that he's tested positive for COVID-19.

Driving the news: López Obrador tweeted that he has mild symptoms and is receiving medical treatment. "As always, I am optimistic," he added. "We will all move forward."

45 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Sarah Huckabee Sanders to run for governor of Arkansas

Sarah Huckabee Sanders at FOX News' studios in New York City in 2019. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will announce Monday that she's running for governor of Arkansas.

The big picture: Sanders was touted as a contender after it was announced she was leaving the Trump administration in June 2019. Then-President Trump tweeted he hoped she would run for governor, adding "she would be fantastic." Sanders is "seen as leader in the polls" in the Republican state, notes the Washington Post's Josh Dawsey, who first reported the news.

Coronavirus has inflamed global inequality

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

History will likely remember the pandemic as the "first time since records began that inequality rose in virtually every country on earth at the same time." That's the verdict from Oxfam's inequality report covering the year 2020 — a terrible year that hit the poorest, hardest across the planet.

Why it matters: The world's poorest were already in a race against time, facing down an existential risk in the form of global climate change. The coronavirus pandemic could set global poverty reduction back as much as a full decade, according to the World Bank.