Dec 13, 2018

Trump uses Congress as excuse on alleged campaign finance violations

President Donald Trump. Photo: Andrew Harrer-Pool/Getty Images

President Trump doubled down on the claim that he's not responsible for campaign finance violations by Michael Cohen on Fox News Thursday, saying that investigators should be looking at Congress' "slush fund" for campaign violations instead.

"Michael Cohen [pleaded] guilty to something that's not even a crime. … Nobody except for me would be looked at like this. Nobody. What about Congress? The slush fund. Millions and millions of dollars paid out each year. They have a slush fund. Millions. They don't talk about campaign finance anything. Have you ever heard about campaign finance laws? Have they listed that on the campaign finance sheets? No."
— Trump said in an interview with Fox News Channel’s "Outnumbered Overtime" with Harris Faulkner

Between the lines: This is a similar defense mechanism we’ve seen Trump use time and time again, such as directing the FBI to investigate Hillary Clinton after the 2016 election.

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 1,202,236 — Total deaths: 64,703 — Total recoveries: 246,198Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 311,301 — Total deaths: 8,476 — Total recoveries: 14,694Map.
  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."
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  7. Education update: Many college-age students won't get coronavirus relief checks.
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World coronavirus updates: Confirmed cases top 1.2 million

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

The number of novel coronavirus cases surpassed 1.2 million worldwide Saturday night, as Spain overtook Italy as the country with the most infections outside the U.S. The global death toll has surpassed 64,700, per Johns Hopkins data.

The latest: The United Kingdom's Queen Elizabeth II will speak in a televised address on the coronavirus Sunday of the "disruption that has brought grief to some, financial difficulties to many, and enormous changes to the daily lives of us all," per the BBC. The U.K. death toll rose 708 to 4,313 on Saturday — the fourth highest in the world.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health

U.S. coronavirus updates: Death toll surpasses 8,400

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

Recorded deaths from the coronavirus surpassed 8,400 in the U.S. on Saturday, 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: President Trump said Saturday America's is facing its "toughest week, between this week and next week." Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the U.S. should expect to see deaths continue to rise in this period.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 hours ago - Health