🦃 Good Wednesday morning ... Best of luck with Getaway Day.
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios
President Trump delivered to Robert Mueller handwritten answers about pre-election dimensions of the Russia probe but did not answer questions about his behavior as president, including allegations of obstruction of justice — and will resist doing so in the future — his lawyer Rudy Giuliani tells Axios.
The high-stakes exchange with Mueller included no questions or answers about obstruction of justice. But Giuliani said: "I can't tell you he's given up on obstruction."
Giuliani expressed breezy confidence about Trump's legal position: "I don't think they have any evidence of collusion of any kind. I think their obstruction case, as a legal matter, doesn't exist."
And Giuliani suggested that he doubts Don Jr. will be indicted in connection with the Trump Tower meeting.
If Donald Trump were an "ordinary client," it would've taken "four, five, six hours" and two meetings to answer Mueller's questions, Giuliani told Axios' Jonathan Swan. But the process dragged out for almost a year.
Giuliani wouldn't tell us what questions Mueller asked. But when pressed, he conceded Mueller asked about two subjects:
Before submitting their answers, Giuliani and the Trump team met "not much" with Mueller himself. Giuliani said they've had "numerous telephone conferences" with the Mueller team.
Jonathan Swan asked Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani whether he thinks he knows what the Trump Organization's chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg gave federal prosecutors in his immunity deal with the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York.
How could he be so sure? Has he spoken to Weisselberg?
Why this matters: Trump told the N.Y. Times last year that Mueller would cross a red line if he started prying into his business affairs. But that's what key people in Trump's orbit worry is happening, tangentially, with the Southern District's investigation of Michael Cohen and his illegal activities while working at the Trump Organization.
"President Trump told the White House counsel in the spring that he wanted to order the Justice Department to prosecute two of his political adversaries: ... Hillary Clinton, and ... James B. Comey," the N.Y. Times' Michael Schmidt and Maggie Haberman report.
Why it matters: "Perhaps more than any president since Richard M. Nixon, Mr. Trump has been accused of trying to exploit his authority over law enforcement."
N.Y. Times Quote of the Day ... Thomas D. Allman, the sheriff of Mendocino County, Calif., who said he expected the toll of the Camp Fire, in which nearly 700 people are still missing, to keep growing in the weeks and months to come:
Driverless vehicles are expected to save lives — but they're unlikely to prevent as many deaths as we've been led to believe, Axios autonomous vehicles expert Joann Muller writes.
By the numbers: 37,133 people died in motor vehicle crashes in 2017. Government agencies like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and auto companies ascribe 94% of serious crashes to human error. Thus, the logic goes, take the human out of the equation and most of the crashes disappear.
About 51% of crash fatalities occurred on rural roads, where economics — and technological limits — don't support the deployment of AVs anytime soon.
Factoring all of that in, Philip Koopman, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University and founder of Edge Case Research, estimates the deaths prevented by AVs would be around 10,000 a year — only about one-fourth of the current total.
WashPost lead headline ... "Trump backs prince in Khashoggi case: TAKES AUTOCRAT’S WORD OVER CIA'S."
Why it matters, from N.Y. Times' Mark Landler:
Great pull by the N.Y. Times' Julian E. Barnes:
"An estimated 85,000 children under age 5 may have died of hunger and disease since the outbreak of Yemen's civil war in 2015," AP reports.
"The war and a Saudi-led blockade have created the world's worst humanitarian crisis, with more than 8 million people at risk of starvation."
Headline of the day ... N.Y. Times, after all of 2018's market gains were erased: "The Economy Is Purring, but Stocks Are Growling."
The Wall Street Journal's Corrie Driebusch explains (subscription):
Migrants in the caravan gather on a truck near Mexicali, Mexico, yesterday while making their way to Tijuana.
What Black Friday door-busters learned from congressional lobbyists ... "Line sitters" matched through apps make up to $35 an hour to hold your place while you stay warm, MONEY's Julia Glum writes:
This is a D.C. tradition: "The Supreme Court website says security starts admitting people to oral argument sessions at 9:30 a.m., but 'visitors may begin lining up on the Front Plaza as early as they feel comfortable' — which sometimes means four days in advance."