Oct 30, 2017

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen
1 big day: Mueller's indictments

The Russia probe has netted its first haul of public indictments.

First up: Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, who have each pleaded "not guilty" to charges ranging from false statements to conspiracy against the United States. (Read the indictment.)

Quick details from a wild day of news:

  • Manafort was released on bail of $10 million and faces "high-intensity supervision" while awaiting trial. Gates, described as Manafort's "protégé" by the New York Times, paid a $5 million bail. Both have surrendered their passports while awaiting trial.
  • Another one bites the dust: Former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty in secret earlier this year after lying to the FBI.
  • To watch: Tony Podesta, the brother of Clinton campaign chair John, has stepped down from his lobbying firm amidst reports he faces investigation from Mueller.

The White House response:

  • Trump tweeted that this news happened "years ago" (the indictment said Manafort's activities ran through 2017).
  • The internal White House position, summarized to Axios' Jonathan Swan by two sources: "Ty will take care of it." Ty Cobb, the White House lawyer handling the Mueller investigation, conveyed the message to staff this morning that there'd be no response to the Manafort news.
  • One of those sources told Swan "people are relieved it's Manafort and not Flynn" who was indicted.
  • They're more concerned about Gates: "If there's any blowback it's going to be because Gates was not completely cut off," a former Trump campaign official told Swan.
  • And they claimed to not even know Papadopoulos: One source told Swan: "To be honest... I thought they were talking about George Gigicos (advance man on campaign) ... not because he could've possibly been involved with Russia but because he's the only guy with a Greek name that anyone knew on the campaign."

Go deeper: How the Russia probe got to Paul Manafort... Meet George Papadopoulos... Meet Rick Gates.

2. What you missed
  1. A court blocked Trump's ban on transgender troops in the military. More.
  2. U.S. stock markets went red on Monday afternoon: After reports House Republicans are considering a five-year "phase-in" period to get corporate tax rates down to 20%. Details.
  3. Whitefish contract in Puerto Rico investigated: The FBI is looking into the $300 million dollar deal. Breakdown.
  4. Kevin Spacey allegations: The "House of Cards" star has apologized after actor Anthony Rapp went public with allegations of a sexual advance from Spacey in 1986. Rapp was 14.
  5. Almost half of women say they've experienced sexual harassment at work. The poll.
3. Something totally different

In order to halt species extinction, researchers are suggesting conservation efforts should focus on islands, which hold 41% of the world's known highly threatened vertebrates.

Dive in...

Mike Allen