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

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam tests positive for coronavirus

Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) and his wife, Pamela, both tested positive for coronavirus, his office announced on Friday.

The state of play: The Northams were tested after one of their staff "who works closely within the couple's living quarters" tested positive. The governor is asymptomatic, while his wife is "experiencing mild symptoms." They plan to isolate at home for 10 days.

Ina Fried, author of Login
2 hours ago - Technology

Amazon wants to flood America with Alexa cameras and microphones

Photo: Amazon

In a Thursday event unveiling a slew of new home devices ahead of the holidays, Amazon made clearer than ever its determination to flood America with cameras, microphones and the voice of Alexa, its AI assistant.

The big picture: Updating popular products and expanding its range to car alarms and in-home drones, Amazon extended its lead in smart home devices and moved into new areas including cloud gaming and car security. The new offerings will also fuel criticism that the tech giant is helping equip a society built around surveillance.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
3 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Oil's turbulent long-term future

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The oil sector is facing risks from all sides.

Why it matters: Risk in the industry is nothing new. But these are especially turbulent and uncertain times. The industry's market clout has waned, the future of demand is kind of a mystery, and future U.S. policy is too, just to name three.

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!