☕ Good Thursday morning. It's the last day of February.
Situational awareness: "Beto O'Rourke has decided not to run for U.S. Senate next year against Texas Republican incumbent John Cornyn and likely will announce a campaign for president soon." (The Dallas Morning News)
Near the end of Michael Cohen's testimony yesterday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez asked the former fixer whether President Trump had ever run an insurance fraud, Jonathan Swan writes.
Why it matters: Cohen offered no proof for this allegation — and given his record of lying, his claims can't be believed without evidence. But by making this allegation — and coughing up the names of the executives — Cohen gave House investigators and federal prosecutors yet another a trail to chase.
The bottom line: "This organization has never had a proctology exam like it's about to get," Bloomberg's Timothy O'Brien told Swan shortly after watching Cohen's testimony. "It's going to surface records that's going to become problematic for all of them to keep their stories straight."
Here's what Trump's businesses face:
By all accounts, Trump still has Weisselberg's loyalty. NBC reported yesterday that Weisselberg still works with The Trump Organization and has never been a cooperating witness against Trump.
Axios reached out to senior Trump Organization executives Alan Garten and George Sorial for comment on Cohen's allegations against Weisselberg, Lieberman and Calamari. They didn't respond.
President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un "abruptly ended their second summit meeting [today] when negotiations collapsed after the two sides failed to agree on even the first steps on nuclear disarmament, a peace declaration or reducing sanctions on the North," writes the N.Y. Times' Edward Wong.
P.S. ... "Testimony 8,300 miles away overshadows Hanoi meeting," the WashPost's Philip Rucker and Josh Dawsey write:
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
Spooked by misinformation campaigns in the 2016 election, companies are hiring consultants to stave off coordinated Twitter and Facebook mobs, Axios' Kaveh Waddell writes:
Faux campaigns "create a mirage of consensus which ... becomes very persuasive to sincere, authentic citizens," says Robert Matney of Austin-based New Knowledge, one of several young companies pitching themselves to stem fraud.
Take the apparent outpouring of social media outrage directed at Nike after its support of Colin Kaepernick, which briefly affected the stock:
Pakistan "acknowledged [today] receiving information from India regarding a suicide bombing in the contested region of Kashmir that sparked the latest wave of tensions between the two nuclear-armed neighbors," per the AP.
"Efforts by the U.S. and China could be critical to lowering tensions; with public opinion inflamed in both countries and the complicating factor of an Indian pilot in Pakistani hands, neither leadership will find it easy to back down," per The Wall Street Journal (subscription):
Michael Cohen in his opening statement to the House Oversight Committee: "I have lied, but I am not a liar."
Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, the top Republican on the committee: "Certainly it’s the first time a convicted perjurer has been brought back to be a star witness."
The number of pedestrians killed on U.S. roads last year was the highest in 28 years — since 1990, AP reports.
Why it matters: The group says factors include "the large growth in smartphone use over the past decade, which can be a significant source of distraction for all road users."
"The automobile — once both a badge of success and the most convenient conveyance between points A and B — is falling out of favor in cities around the world as ride-hailing and other new transportation options proliferate and concerns over gridlock and pollution spark a re-evaluation of privately owned wheels," write Keith Naughton and David Welch for Bloomberg Businessweek.
Why it matters: "Rather than signaling the end of the road for the automobile, peak car is a reflection that re-urbanization and the widespread adoption of mobile apps that can summon a vehicle on demand will lessen the need for many of the 1.3 billion vehicles now on the road."
Jonah Goldberg is leaving National Review in the coming months to start a new conservative media company with Steve Hayes, who was editor-in-chief of The Weekly Standard when its owner shut it down in December.
Hayes and Goldberg are seeking investors.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus "has been portraying funny, self-centered women who are compelling despite often being ill-behaved. Selina [Meyer], her capstone creation, pushes the envelope furthest: the accidental President’s megalomania, and her flamboyant vulgarity, have helped 'Veep' break awards records," writes Molly Ball for the new cover of TIME.