Evan Vucci / AP

Never mind.

Forty-one days after teasing the possibility of tapes of conversations with his former FBI director, Trump today admitted it was all a bluff.

  • Trump undid his tweet with a pair of tweets: "With all of the recently reported electronic surveillance, intercepts, unmasking and illegal leaking of information, I have no idea ... whether there are 'tapes' or recordings of my conversations with James Comey, but I did not make, and do not have, any such recordings."
  • Even his friends can't understand why Trump would antagonize Comey, or add Nixonian atmospherics to an already problematic situation.
  • The month of mystery was classic Trump, who relishes the theatrics of a big reveal, at least as much as he did during his reality-show days. It was also a classic Trump mistake: an unforced error that set in motion a new, more dangerous phase of the investigation.

So today's pièce de résistance was injecting the idea today that perhaps someone else had made tapes.

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Column / Harder Line

How Europe’s green pandemic recovery will push the rest of the world

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Europe, long the most progressive continent when it comes to tackling climate change, is doubling down on this ambition to revive pandemic-ravaged economies.

Why it matters: The European Union is the world’s third-largest emitting region after the U.S. and China, but it’s not just that. These plans will push global corporate behavior and prod other governments by creating either templates to follow or protectionist battles (or both).

Updated 10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 12,859,834 — Total deaths: 567,123 — Total recoveries — 7,062,085Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 3,297,501— Total deaths: 135,155 — Total recoveries: 1,006,326 — Total tested: 40,282,176Map.
  3. States: Florida smashes single-day record for new coronavirus cases with over 15,000 — NYC reports zero coronavirus deaths for first time since pandemic hit.
  4. Public health: Ex-FDA chief projects "apex" of South's coronavirus curve in 2-3 weeks — Coronavirus testing czar: Lockdowns in hotspots "should be on the table"
  5. Education: Betsy DeVos says schools that don't reopen shouldn't get federal funds — Pelosi accuses Trump of "messing with the health of our children."

Scoop: How the White House is trying to trap leakers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Trump's chief of staff, Mark Meadows, has told several White House staffers he's fed specific nuggets of information to suspected leakers to see if they pass them on to reporters — a trap that would confirm his suspicions. "Meadows told me he was doing that," said one former White House official. "I don't know if it ever worked."

Why it matters: This hunt for leakers has put some White House staffers on edge, with multiple officials telling Axios that Meadows has been unusually vocal about his tactics. So far, he's caught only one person, for a minor leak.