Good afternoon. Another short and sweet holiday PM below, so you can get back to whatever you're up to on this cold winter day.
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1. What you missed
- Rudy walks it back: Trump's lawyer told reporters today that his statements yesterday — that Trump remembers talking with Cohen about Trump Tower Moscow right up until the election in 2016 — were "hypothetical" and not based on conversations with the president.
- Rudy yesterday: "It's our understanding that it, that [talks] went on throughout 2016, not a lot of them, ... but the president can remember having conversations with [Cohen] about it. ... Probably up to, could be up to as far as October, November."
- And Rudy quoting Trump to the NYT yesterday: "The Trump Tower Moscow discussions were 'going on from the day I announced to the day I won.'"
- Researchers have discovered a secret ballistic missile base in North Korea ahead of a likely new U.S.-North Korea summit, NBC News reports.
- Chinese investigators accused scientist He Jiankui, who claimed to have created the world’s first gene-edited babies, of violating national laws and falsifying documents to carry out the procedure. Go deeper.
- President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence stopped by the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial and attended a wreath laying in observance of MLK Day.
2. 2020 watch
Catch up quick, via the AP:
- Kamala Harris launched her presidential campaign.
- Joe Biden "accepted responsibility for his part in the passage of 1980s legislation that toughened sentences for crack cocaine possession."
- Kirsten Gillibrand said “white women like me must bear part of this burden and commit to amplifying" black voices.
- Michael "Bloomberg said far too many U.S. politicians don’t 'seem to give a damn' about the victims of gun violence."
- Elizabeth Warren "called for a constitutional amendment guaranteeing a right to vote for every American ... after saying 'people of color have been systematically denied the most basic of human rights: the right to vote.'"
Bonus: Pics du jour
Above: People visit the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in D.C.
Below: People from a caravan of Central American migrants headed to the U.S. climb down off a truck in Huixtla, Mexico.
3. 1 docu thing
Documentary fans have a wealth of riches coming their way after the Sundance Film Festival, the AP reports:
- "The mountainside festival which kicks off Thursday in Park City, Utah ... boasts a wide array of films about fallen titans, from Harvey Weinstein to Theranos’ Elizabeth Holmes, music legends Miles Davis and David Crosby, two of Michael Jackson’s sexual abuse accusers, the Cambridge Analytica/Facebook scandal, Apollo 11, Mike Wallace, Toni Morrison and Dr. Ruth."
- P.S. "'American Factory' ... [looks] at what happened when a Chinese billionaire bought a closed General Motors factory outside ... Dayton, Ohio and created 2,000 manufacturing jobs in an area still suffering from the plant’s initial closure."