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Hope Hicks calls for no more questions to Trump on Air Force One in November. Photo: JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images

The NY Times has a detailed tick-tock of discussions between President Trump, his legal team and top aides after they were informed in July that the Times knew Donald Trump Jr. had met with Russians at Trump Tower during the campaign.

  • The key claim: Mark Corallo, a former spokesman for Trump’s legal team, plans to tell Robert Mueller about a conference call with Trump and Communications Director Hope Hicks in which Corallo claims Hicks said emails describing the purpose of the meeting would “never get out.” Sources told the Times Corallo had “concerns that Ms. Hicks could be contemplating obstructing justice.”
  • Hick’s lawyer, Robert Trout, adamantly denied the allegations to the Times.

From Trout's statement: “She never said that. And the idea that Hope Hicks ever suggested that emails or other documents would be concealed or destroyed is completely false.”

More details
  • After a “furious debate” over what to include in the statement, Trump insisted it say the meeting had been about adoption, and Trump Jr. insisted it include the word “primarily.”
  • Corallo (along with Trump’s lawyers) hadn’t been consulted, and released a different statement, leading to the call from Hicks. He said on that call that the emails would emerge showing that “the meeting had been set up for the Trump campaign to get political dirt” on Hillary Clinton.
  • “Corallo... told colleagues he was alarmed not only by what Ms. Hicks had said… but also that she had said it in front of the president without a lawyer on the phone and that the conversation could not be protected by attorney-client privilege.”
  • “Mr. Corallo told colleagues that he immediately notified the legal team of the conversation and jotted down notes to memorialize it. He also shared his concerns with Stephen K. Bannon, then the president’s chief strategist.”

Go deeper

DOJ cites discrimination in lawsuit against Texas over voting districts

Attorney General Merrick Garland delivers remarks at the 2021 Tribal Nations Summit at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on Nov. 15, 2021. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Department of Justice on Monday filed a lawsuit against Texas, alleging Republican state lawmakers discriminated against Black and Latino voters and "again.. diluted the voting strength of minority Texans" when they approved new redistricting maps.

Why it matters: A DOJ assessment of the new districts found that they violate Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, Attorney General Merrick Garland said at a press conference.

2 hours ago - World

Biden to warn Putin U.S. will add troops in Eastern Europe if Russia invades Ukraine

Putin meets Biden in Geneva. Photo: Peter Klaunzer - Pool/Keystone via Getty

President Biden will warn Russian President Vladimir Putin when they speak on Tuesday that if Russia invades Ukraine, the U.S. is prepared to increase its troop presence, capabilities and military exercises on NATO's "eastern flank," a senior administration official told reporters.

Why it matters: The administration believes it's increasingly likely that Putin will order an invasion.

2 hours ago - World

U.S. announces diplomatic boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics

An Olympic-themed sculpture in Beijing on Dec. 1. Photo: Hou Yu/China News Service via Getty Images

The U.S. announced Monday that it will not send officials to the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics in protest of human rights abuses committed by the Chinese Communist Party.

Why it matters: The diplomatic boycott — which won't prevent American athletes from competing — marks a major escalation between the U.S. and China amid already heightened tensions over the CCP's treatment of Muslim minorities, military threats to Taiwan and economic tariffs.