May 3, 2018

Sanders struggles to explain Trump's involvement in Stormy Daniels payment

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Facing a barrage of questions about President Trump's changing story on his knowledge of the $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders repeatedly told reporters Thursday that the White House gives "the very best information that we have at the time."

The big quote: "This was information the President didn’t know at the time but eventually learned," Sanders said, later adding that she doesn't think Sean Hannity's bombshell interview with Rudy Giuliani hurts Trump.

The backdrop: In April, Trump denied knowing about the payment. But, Giuliani said last night that the president has repaid his personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, with his own funds. Trump also tweeted about the reimbursement this morning.

Other highlights:

  • Sanders said she first learned about the reimbursement during Giuliani's Fox News interview.
  • Asked if she was caught off-guard on Giuliani’s remarks, she said, "I'm not part of the legal team and would not be part of those discussions."
  • On the three American prisoners held in North Korea: “We can’t confirm the validity of any of the reports currently out about their release.” Note: Last night, Donald Trump Jr. tweeted links to stories that said the prisoners had been released.
  • She also declined to comment on the recent report about Cohen's phone being tapped.

Go deeper: Rudy Giuliani sends Trump into Stormy waters; Michael Cohen goes through the wringer for Trump

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In photos: Deadly Storm Dennis lashes U.K., Ireland and western France

A family is rescued from a property in Nantgarw, Wales, on Sunday. The storm comes a week after the U.K. was battered by storm Ciara, which killed two people, per the BBC. Photo: Matthew Horwood/Getty Images

Storm Dennis continued to pummel parts of England, Wales and Ireland over Sunday night with heavy rain after battering Northern Ireland and Scotland, per the official British weather agency the Met Office.

Why it matters: It's the second-strongest nontropical storm ever recorded in the North Atlantic Ocean, with its hurricane-force winds and heavy rains that caused widespread flooding across the U.K., the Washington Post notes. Police in Wales confirmed Sunday they found the body of a man who fell into a river as the storm lashed Ystradgynlais.

Sanders accuses Bloomberg of trying to "buy" the 2020 election

Sen. Bernie Sanders and Mike Bloomberg. Photos: Drew Angerer; Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders tore into 2020 rival Michael Bloomberg at a Las Vegas campaign event Saturday, saying the billionaire and former New York mayor is trying to "buy the presidency" by paying millions of dollars in advertising.

Why it matters: Bloomberg has surged in national polling recently, having poured millions of dollars into campaign ads largely targeting Trump. His candidacy has become an obvious foil for Sanders, whose grassroots campaign railing against billionaires and the establishment has vaulted him to front-runner status.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus cases rise, as more Americans on cruise confirmed ill

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's NHC; Note: China refers to mainland China and the Diamond Princess is the cruise ship offshore Yokohama, Japan. Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

A U.S. public health official confirms more than 40 Americans on the Diamond Princess cruise ship off Japan have coronavirus, while the remaining U.S. citizens without symptoms are being evacuated.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 1,770 people and infected almost 70,000 others. Most cases and all but five of the deaths have occurred in mainland China. Taiwan confirmed its first death on Sunday, per multiple reports, in a 61-year-old man with underlying health conditions. Health officials were investigating how he became ill.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 5 hours ago - Health