Apr 19, 2018

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

Situational awareness: "Lance Armstrong has reached a $5 million settlement with the federal government in a whistleblower lawsuit that could have sought $100 million in damages from the cyclist..." [AP]

1 big thing: Rod Rosenstein reassured Trump

Deputy A.G. Rod Rosenstein told President Trump last week that he's not a target in the Russia probe, Bloomberg's Jennifer Jacobs and Chris Strohm scooped this afternoon.

Why it matters: This takes the heat off Rosenstein and Robert Mueller, reassuring President Trump that he's not in the crosshairs.

  • "After the meeting, Trump told some of his closest advisers that it’s not the right time to remove either man since he’s not a target of the probe."
  • Yes, but: Trump isn't a target now, but that doesn't mean he can't become one in the future.

Meanwhile, the Justice Department's inspector general issued a criminal referral to prosecutors on former FBI Director Andrew McCabe, the Washington Post reports.

  • Yes, but: "It was not immediately clear how the D.C. U.S. Attorney’s Office responded to the referral... A referral to federal prosecutors does not necessarily mean McCabe will be charged with a crime."
  • The intrigue: James Comey told CNN's Jake Tapper this afternoon that he could "potentially" be a witness in any case against McCabe.

P.S. "Mueller’s interest in... Paul Manafort stemmed in part from his suspected role as a “back channel” between the campaign and Russians intent on meddling in the election, a Justice Department lawyer told a judge." [Bloomberg]

2. What you missed
The Schwandt family has 13 sons and just welcomed a 14th. Photo: Casey Sykes/The Grand Rapids Press via AP
  1. This year featured the sixth-warmest January–March in modern temperature records that date back to 1880. More.
  2. AT&T's CEO testified today that his company's proposed purchase of Time Warner will help them compete in the age of Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google dominance. Details.
  3. Trump's administration is dramatically outpacing the Obama record of attributing cyber attacks to foreign governments. Backstory.
  4. The two black men arrested at a Philadelphia Starbucks spoke with Good Morning America today for the first time since the incident last week. Video.
  5. Michael Cohen has withdrawn two libel lawsuits over the publishing of the Trump dossier. More.
3. 1 fun thing

Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) became the first senator today to bring her own newborn to the Senate chamber, when she brought Maile Pearl to the floor for votes.

Screenshot: Tammy Duckworth / Twitter


Mike Allen