Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Rudy Giuliani's bombshell comments about Stormy Daniels prompted a President Trump tweetstorm today.

Why it matters: Now representing Trump in the Mueller probe, Giuliani — who has a reputation of being a brawler — may be creating separate legal woes for Trump.

The latest...

  • Giuliani told Sean Hannity that he "didn't know about the specifics of [the Stormy Daniels payment] ... but he did know about the general arrangement."
    • But asked last month if he knew about the $130,000 pay off, Trump replied: "No."
  • In a string of morning tweets Thursday, the president offered an explanation defending the payment to Daniels, and said that non-disclosure agreements like this one are "very common among celebrities and people of wealth. In this case it is in full force and effect and will be used in Arbitration for damages against Ms. Clifford (Daniels). The agreement was used to stop the false and extortionist accusations made by her about an affair..." He also denied the affair once again.
    • Be smart: Washington reporters who cover Trump and the White House speculate that today's tweets, which were packed with legal language and not written in the president's signature style, were not sent by Trump.
  • "Asked about his remarks after finishing the Fox News interview, Giuliani said that what might have seemed to some viewers — including, perhaps, Hannity — like a slip of the tongue, was actually a planned disclosure," writes the New York Times' Michael Shear.
  • And Giuliani doubled down on his comments this morning on Fox & Friends, saying, "Imagine if that came out on October 15th, 2016 in the middle of the last debate with Hillary Clinton? ... Cohen didn't even ask. Cohen made it go away. He did his job."
  • The bottom line: "Giuliani has historically been something of a loose cannon who is not used to having his words carefully managed," Shear writes.

The legal questions...

  • Giuliani told Hannity his explanation of the Stormy Daniels settlement "removes the campaign finance violation" because campaign money wasn't used. But there could still be legal issues, the AP's Jill Colvin and Chad Day report.
  • Timing: "Giuliani’s insistence the money had nothing to do with the campaign is complicated by the fact that Daniels’ silence was secured just days before the 2016 presidential election, and as Trump was dealing with the fallout from the 'Access Hollywood' tape in which he bragged about sexually assaulting women."
  • Full disclosure: "All campaign expenses, including payments and loans, are supposed to be disclosed to the FEC."

Go deeper

Netflix tops 200 million global subscribers

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Netflix said that it added another 8.5 million global subscribers last quarter, bringing its total number of paid subscribers globally to more than 200 million.

The big picture: Positive fourth quarter results show Netflix's resiliency, despite increased competition and pandemic-related production headwinds.

Janet Yellen plays down debt, tax hike concerns in confirmation hearing

Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen at an event in December. (Photo: Alex Wong via Getty Images)

Janet Yellen, Biden's pick to lead the Treasury Department, pushed back against two key concerns from Republican senators at her confirmation hearing on Tuesday: the country's debt and the incoming administration's plans to eventually raise taxes.

Driving the news: Yellen — who's expected to win confirmation — said spending big now will prevent the U.S. from having to dig out of a deeper hole later. She also said the Biden administration's priority right now is coronavirus relief, not raising taxes.

Trump gives farewell address: "We did what we came here to do"

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump gave a farewell video address on Tuesday, saying that his administration "did what we came here to do — and so much more."

Why it matters, via Axios' Alayna Treene: The address is very different from the Trump we've seen in his final weeks as president — one who has refused to accept his loss, who peddled conspiracy theories that fueled the attack on the Capitol, and who is boycotting his successor's inauguration. 

You’ve caught up. Now what?

Sign up for Mike Allen’s daily Axios AM and PM newsletters to get smarter, faster on the news that matters.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!