Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani told Fox News' Laura Ingraham that the audio of Michael Cohen and Trump speaking about a payment to Playboy model Karen McDougal, which was leaked to CNN on Tuesday, gives "no indication of any crime being committed."

Why it matters: The recording suggests that Trump had knowledge of the purchase for the rights of McDougal's story, who claims she had an affair with Trump years ago. Giuliani, however, stood by his claim that Trump was unaware of the transaction.

"I got tapes even longer...how about 4,000 hours of mafia people on tapes? I know how to listen to them...This tape is clear crystal clear when you listen to it. I dealt with much worse tapes than this."
— Giuliani
  • On Trump's awareness of the purchase of McDougal's story: "I mean, he may or may not have known about McDougal's claims. I don't know that. But he didn't know about this transaction."
  • He said Trump insists that Cohen not pay with cash: "[H]e says don't pay with cash. And then Cohen says, no, no, no, and the president says check. ... The point is the president wants the transaction to be memorialized."
  • "There's no way the president is going to be talking about setting up a corporation and then using cash unless you are a complete idiot. Again, the president is not an idiot."
  • Giuliani said there are no other tapes: "We have all of the tapes in our possession. We have transcripts of all them. We are comfortable with them. And there are no — there are no others."

Go deeper

Ousted former U.S. attorney for SDNY to testify before House Judiciary Committee

Berman in October 2019 in New York City. Photo: Johannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images

Geoffrey Berman, the former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, is scheduled to testify to the House Judiciary Committee next week on the circumstances of his forced resignation, Politico reports, citing a congressional aide.

Why it matters: As the top federal prosecutor in Manhattan, Berman oversaw high-profile cases that worried and angered President Trump and his inner circle, including an investigation into his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. His removal has added to allegations by Democrats that Attorney General Bill Barr has politicized the Justice Department under President Trump.

Stimulus outlook takes a hit even as coronavirus cases skyrocket

Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals

The pandemic is getting worse, and the question is whether the economic recovery will go with it.

Why it matters: America adding 7.5 million jobs over the last two months pales in comparison to 20+ million lost over the two months prior.

3 hours ago - Health

Texas governor mandates face masks in public spaces

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) issued an executive order Thursday requiring all Texans to wear a face covering in public in counties with 20 or more positive coronavirus cases.

Why it matters: It's a dramatic reversal by the Republican governor that underscores the severity of the outbreak in Texas, which set a single-day record on Wednesday with more than 8,000 confirmed new cases. On June 3, Abbott issued an executive order banning local governments from imposing fines on people who don't wear masks in public.