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Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Rudy Giuliani is wasting no time as Trump's new lawyer, calling on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to step in on the Michael Cohen case and comparing the investigators to "storm troopers."

Be smart: These story lines are coming together, and a Giuliani-empowered Trump will only get more aggressive.

The Rudy media tour:

  • To the Daily Beast's Betsy Woodruff: “Anybody who says that I’m exaggerating when I say that this is an out-of-control investigation and they’re acting like storm troopers––give me a break, baby! They prove it every day."
  • He also told Woodruff that, "Us lawyers have talked about it, we don’t believe [NBC's wiretap story is] true. We think it’s going to turn out to be untrue because it would be totally illegal."
  • To The Hill's Niall Stanage: “I am waiting for the Attorney General to step in, in his role as defender of justice, and put these people under investigation."

The backdrop: NBC News reported today that Trump lawyer Michael Cohen's phone was wiretapped in the weeks prior to the FBI raid. They later corrected their story on air, noting that federal authorities were “monitoring” Cohen's phone calls but not listening to them as previously reported.

  • "At least one phone call between a phone line associated with Cohen and the White House was intercepted," a source told NBC.

Why it matters: Cohen's role in the Stormy Daniels case, which Giuliani shocked Sean Hannity last night by discussing on Fox News, was confirmed in a series of Trump tweets this morning:

"Mr. Cohen, an attorney, received a monthly retainer, not from the campaign and having nothing to do with the campaign, from which he entered into, through reimbursement, a private contract between two parties, known as a non-disclosure agreement, or NDA. These agreements are... very common among celebrities and people of wealth. In this case it is in full force and effect and will be used in Arbitration for damages against Ms. Clifford (Daniels). The agreement was used to stop the false and extortionist accusations made by her about an affair... despite already having signed a detailed letter admitting that there was no affair. Prior to its violation by Ms. Clifford and her attorney, this was a private agreement. Money from the campaign, or campaign contributions, played no roll in this transaction."

P.S. "Giuliani said in an interview with The Washington Post that he discussed the issue with Trump a few days ago and that they agreed that he would reveal details about the reimbursement." [WaPo's Josh Dawsey, Phil Rucker, Robert Costa and Ashley Parker]

Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect NBC's on air correction.

Go deeper

NRA files for bankruptcy, says it will reincorporate in Texas

Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association (NRA) speaks during CPAC in 2016. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The National Rifle Association said Friday it has filed for voluntary bankruptcy as part of a restructuring plan.

Driving the news: The gun rights group said it would reincorporate in Texas, calling New York, where it is currently registered, a "toxic political environment." Last year, New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit to dissolve the NRA, alleging the group committed fraud by diverting roughly $64 million in charitable donations over three years to support reckless spending by its executives.

27 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden: "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution

Joe Biden. Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden promised to invoke the Defense Production Act to increase vaccine manufacturing, as he outlined a five-point plan to administer 100 million COVID-19 vaccinations in the first months of his presidency.

Why it matters: With the Center for Disease Control and Prevention warning of a more contagious variant of the coronavirus, Biden is trying to establish how he’ll approach the pandemic differently than President Trump.

A new Washington

Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Image

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said Friday that the city should expect a "new normal" for security — even after President-elect Biden's inauguration.

The state of play: Inaugurations are usually a point of celebration in D.C., but over 20,000 troops are now patrolling Washington streets in an unprecedented preparation for Biden's swearing-in on Jan. 20.

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