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Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Photo: William B. Plowman/NBC/NBC Newswire/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Federal prosecutors are investigating whether President Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani expected to personally profit from a Ukrainian natural-gas business backed by two colleagues who helped his push for investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The big picture: Earlier this year, Giuliani's associates Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman proposed plans to Ukrainian officials and energy executives for a Poland-Ukraine pipeline transporting U.S. natural gas. The two men also requested assistance on investigations into Biden and alleged Ukrainian interference in the 2016 U.S. election.

  • In talks throughout this summer, Parnas and Fruman allegedly told Ukrainian officials and others that Giuliani was a partner in the pipeline business, a source told the WSJ.
  • Another person claimed the two men considered Giuliani to be a potential investor in their business, Global Energy Producers, per the WSJ.

What he's saying: Giuliani denied any personal involvement, telling the WSJ: "I have no personal interest in any business in Ukraine, including that business. ... If they really want to know if I’m a partner, why don’t they ask me?”

Background: Parnas and Fruman, both foreign-born Trump donors, were arrested in October on campaign finance charges for conspiring to funnel money to American politicians and illegal campaign donations. They pleaded not guilty.

  • The Wall Street Journal also reported in mid-October that prosecutors were evaluating Giuliani's personal business dealings in Ukraine.
  • Giuliani obtained legal representation in early November.

Go deeper

Go deeper

Key inflation measure grew slower than expected in June

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The price of goods and services rose 0.4% in June, slower than the 0.5% growth during May, according to the core personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index released Friday morning. The June reading was lower than the consensus expectation for 0.6% growth.

Why it matters: The core PCE is the inflation measure the Federal Reserve watches most closely. June's reading is the second month in a row of decelerated price growth, giving the Fed breathing room to design a pullback strategy from its emergency market support.

2 hours ago - Health

Internal CDC presentation warns: "The war has changed"

Graphic: CDC via The Washington Post

Unpublished research indicates that the Delta variant causes more severe illness and spreads as easily as chickenpox, and that vaccinated people may transmit the strain as easily as those who are unvaccinated, according to an internal CDC presentation obtained by WashPost.

Why it matters: The data played a key role in the CDC's decision to tell vaccinated people to resume masking indoors, with the presentation calling on health officials to "acknowledge the war has changed," The Post reports.

Updated 2 hours ago - Sports

Olympics dashboard

Women's 5,000 meter heats at the Tokyo Olympics. Photo: Jewel Samad/AFP via Getty Images

🎾: Novak Djokovic defeated in Olympic semi-finals

🗓: The Olympic events to watch today

🏊‍♀️: South Africa's Tatjana Schoenmaker breaks world record in 200m breaststroke

🏊: Olympic swimmer Ryan Murphy wins Silver in 200m

🚣‍♀️: Team USA women's eight rowing fails to reach the podium

💻: Japan tests teleporting games and "remote cheering"

Go deeper: Full Axios coverage