Jan 12, 2019

WaPo: Trump sought to hide details of conversations with Putin from admin officials

Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov via Getty Images

President Trump has repeatedly sought to conceal the details of his face-to-face conversations with Russian President Vladi­mir Putin from senior officials in his own administration, the Washington Post's Greg Miller reports.

Details: After meeting with Putin in Germany in 2017, Trump reportedly took notes from his own interpreter and instructed them not to discuss the contents of the conversation with other administration officials. This is just one example of what Miller reports is "a broader pattern" of Trump shielding his communications with Putin from the public as well as senior government officials — a pattern that has resulted in there being "no detailed record" of his face-to-face meetings with the Russian leader at "five locations over the past two years."

The big picture: Trump's 2-hour closed-door meeting with Putin in Helsinki over the summer has drawn scrutiny from Democrats in Congress, after Trump appeared to side with Putin over the findings of the U.S. intelligence community about Russian interference in the 2016 election.

  • Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), new chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told the Post that the meeting will be a target for investigators now that Democrats have taken control of the House. While in the minority, Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee attempted to subpoena Trump's interpreter, but were blocked by Republicans.

Go deeper: FBI reportedly probed whether Trump was secretly working for Russia

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5 p.m. ET: 1,187,798 — Total deaths: 64,084 — Total recoveries: 245,949Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 5 p.m. ET: 301,902 — Total deaths: 8,175 — Total recoveries: 14,505Map.
  3. Public health latest: CDC launches national trackers and recommends face coverings in public. Federal government will cover costs of COVID-19 treatment for uninsured. The virus is hitting poor, minority communities harder and upending childbirth.
  4. 2020 latest: "We have no contingency plan," Trump said on the 2020 Republican National Convention. "We're having the convention at the end of August."
  5. Business updates: Restaurants step up for health care workers. Employees are pressuring companies to provide protections during coronavirus. America's small business bailout off to bad start.
  6. Oil latest: Monday meeting among oil-producing countries to discuss supply curbs is reportedly being delayed amid tensions between Saudi Arabia and Russia.
  7. Education update: Many college-age students won't get coronavirus relief checks.
  8. 1 🏀 thing: The WNBA postpones start of training camps and season.
  9. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal health. Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  10. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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U.S. coronavirus updates: Death toll surpasses 8,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Recorded deaths from the coronavirus surpassed 8,000 in the U.S. on Saturday afternoon, per Johns Hopkins data. The death toll in the U.S. has risen over 1,000 every day for the past four days, since April 1.

The big picture: As expected, COVID-19 death tolls are rising in the U.S. The CDC is recommending Americans wear face coverings in public to help stop the spread, marking a significant change in messaging from the Trump administration.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 hours ago - Health

World coronavirus updates: Spain tracks more cases than Italy

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

Spain overtook Italy in its number of coronavirus cases on Saturday. The global death toll has surpassed 62,000, per Johns Hopkins data.

The latest: About half the planet's population is on lockdown amid the coronavirus crisis. Fatalities are exponentially increasing across Europe, with roughly half of deaths worldwide located in Italy and Spain.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 hours ago - Health