Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

President Trump has had conversations with key special counsel witnesses "about matters they discussed with investigators," the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: Per the Times, this demonstrates that Trump has "ignored his lawyers' advice to avoid doing anything publicly or privately" that would look like interference with special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. But, legal experts tell the Times the conversations "likely did not rise to the level of witness tampering."

  • Trump reportedly told White House counsel Don McGahn to publicly deny reports saying he was told by the president to fire Mueller. Per the NYT, McGahn reminded Trump that he had in fact asked him to get rid of Mueller, but Trump said "he did not remember" their discussion in that manner.
  • In December, Trump asked former chief of staff Reince Priebus about his October meeting with Mueller's office. Per the Times, Priebus told him "the investigators were courteous and professional" but "shared no specifics and did not say what he had told investigators."
  • This isn't illegal, the NYT reports, but "is usually done through lawyers for the people involved."

One more thing: The Times reports that Rob Porter, who recently stepped down as White House Staff Secretary, told McGahn that Trump had "suggested he might 'get rid of'" him if he didn't deny Trump asked him to fire Mueller.

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Fauci says if people won't wear masks, maybe it should be mandated

Anthony Fauci. Photo: Graeme Jennings- Pool/Getty Images

NIAID director Anthony Fauci told CNN on Friday evening that if "people are not wearing masks, then maybe we should be mandating it."

Why it matters: Fauci made the comments the same day the U.S. hit its highest daily COVID-19 case count since the pandemic began.

Harris to Black voters: Casting a ballot is about honoring your ancestors

Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris speaks at a "Get Out The Vote" rally at Morehouse College. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Kamala Harris appealed to Black voters in Georgia on Friday, urging them to "honor the ancestors" by casting ballots, and again calling President Trump a "racist."

Why it matters: The U.S. saw a significant decline in African-American voter turnout between 2012 and 2016, reaching its lowest point since 2000. Higher turnout among Black Americans this year could tip the balance in favor of Democrats in key battleground states, including Georgia.

Updated 9 hours ago - Politics & Policy

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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

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