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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

Go deeper

DOJ cites discrimination in lawsuit against Texas over voting districts

Attorney General Merrick Garland. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Department of Justice on Monday filed a lawsuit against Texas, alleging Republican state lawmakers discriminated against Black and Latino voters and has "again diluted the voting strength of minority Texans" when they approved new redistricting maps.

Why it matters: A DOJ assessment of the new districts found that they violate Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, Attorney General Merrick Garland said at a press conference.

3 hours ago - World

Biden to warn Putin U.S. will add troops in Eastern Europe if Russia invades Ukraine

Putin meets Biden in Geneva. Photo: Peter Klaunzer - Pool/Keystone via Getty

President Biden will warn Russian President Vladimir Putin when they speak on Tuesday that if Russia invades Ukraine, the U.S. is prepared to increase its troop presence, capabilities and military exercises on NATO's "eastern flank," a senior administration official told reporters.

Why it matters: The administration believes it's increasingly likely that Putin will order an invasion.

4 hours ago - World

U.S. announces diplomatic boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics

An Olympic-themed sculpture in Beijing on Dec. 1. Photo: Hou Yu/China News Service via Getty Images

The U.S. announced Monday that it will not send officials to the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics in protest of human rights abuses committed by the Chinese Communist Party.

Why it matters: The diplomatic boycott — which won't prevent American athletes from competing — marks a major escalation between the U.S. and China amid already heightened tensions over the CCP's treatment of Muslim minorities, military threats to Taiwan and economic tariffs.