Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump this morning said his former lawyer and campaign chairman, both now convicted felons, are actually guilty of little or nothing. 

Between the lines: Within an hour, the president seemed to open the possibility of a pardon for Paul Manafort — which would likely only increase suspicion of wrongdoing by the president. At the same time, he has both accused Michael Cohen of making up stories to clinch a deal as well as insisted that the campaign finance violations Cohen pleaded guilty to are not crimes.

While Trump started off his morning of executive time with a lower-key insult toward Michael Cohen, his tweets quickly turned into a full on tirade:

Be smart, regarding Trump's assertion that "President Obama had a big campaign finance violation and it was easily settled!":

  • Obama's 2008 campaign did have to pay one of the largest fines of any presidential campaign for failing to give adequate notice of around 1,300 campaign contributions totaling more than $1.8 million, Politico reported at the time. That's a very different kind of violation than using campaign funds as hush money for women accusing the candidate of having an affair.

Go deeper

Updated 12 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 31,1833,800 — Total deaths: 962,793— Total recoveries: 21,348,410Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 6,833,800 — Total deaths: 199,818 — Total recoveries: 2,615,949 — Total tests: 95,841,281Map.
  3. Health: CDC says it mistakenly published guidance about COVID-19 spreading through air.
  4. Media: Conservative blogger who spread COVID-19 misinformation worked for Fauci's agency.
  5. Politics: House Democrats file legislation to fund government through Dec. 11.
  6. World: U.K. upgrades COVID alert level as Europe sees worrying rise in infections — "The Wake-Up Call" warns the West about the consequences of mishandling a pandemic.

Sen. Cory Gardner on vacant Supreme Court seat: "I will vote to confirm"

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) will vote to confirm President Trump's nominee to replace the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg, he announced in a statement Monday.

Why it matters: The development is a win for President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). It should mean Republicans are all but assured to have enough support to hold hearings for Trump's potential nominee.

Dave Lawler, author of World
1 hour ago - World

Trump and Xi to give dueling speeches Tuesday at UN General Assembly

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

President Trump and China’s Xi Jinping will address the UN General Assembly just minutes apart on Tuesday morning — with Russia’s Vladimir Putin following soon thereafter.

The big picture: Trump has promised a “strong message on China.” Xi, meanwhile, is expected to laud global cooperation — with the clear implication that it can be led from Beijing.

Get Axios AM in your inbox

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

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!