Show an ad over header. AMP

Trump lawyers to avoid Michigan lawmaker meeting after COVID exposure

Rudy Giuliani and other key members of President Trump's outside legal team won't be attending today's meeting with two Michigan lawmakers because they've been exposed to the coronavirus, two sources familiar with the internal discussions tell Axios.

Why it matters: This added turmoil inside the president's legal operation comes at a time when the president is urging Republican state lawmakers to interfere with the electoral process and reverse Joe Biden's victory to a Trump win.


  • "It's just a shitshow, it's a joke," said a Trump campaign adviser.

Behind the scenes: Top Trump campaign officials held a conference call this morning with Eric Herschmann, a lawyer on the White House staff, in which they candidly discussed their legal conundrum.

  • Herschmann serves in an advisory role outside the counsel's office, and no one in the counsel's office participated on the call, according to another person familiar with the call.
  • Officials on the call included campaign manager Bill Stepien and advisers Jason Miller, Justin Clark, Matt Morgan, Tim Murtaugh and Boris Epshteyn, as well as Trump campaign lawyer Jenna Ellis.
  • Asked whether the White House counsel's office would be present in the meeting, Herschmann told the Trump campaign officials that the counsel's office would not be represented but that somebody needed to brief the president about the legal situation.

This raised the obvious question of which member of Rudy Giuliani's legal team would join the White House meeting.

  • But those contingencies fell apart on the call. One of the participants told the group that Andrew Giuliani, a White House staffer and son of Rudy, has tested positive for the virus.
  • One of the participants on the call said Rudy Giuliani should not attend the White House meeting because he'd surely been exposed to his son. Then Ellis, a Giuliani sidekick, said if that was the case then the entire Giuliani-affiliated legal team was probably exposed, the sources said.

Trump's campaign lawyers have been holed up for days in a conference room at Trump campaign headquarters in Arlingon, Va., one of the sources said, Andrew Giuliani had been around all of them.

  • Andrew Giuliani acknowledged today on Twitter that he has tested positive, writing, "This morning, I tested positive for COVID-19. I am experiencing mild symptoms, and am following all appropriate protocols, including being in quarantine and conducting contact tracing."
  • The Trump campaign declined to comment.

What's next: A source familiar with the situation told Axios that another campaign attorney is planning to attend the White House meeting in place of the COVID-infected members of the Giuliani legal team.

The questions the COVID-19 vaccine trials still need to answer

COVID-19 vaccines are being developed at record speed, but some experts fear the accelerated regulatory process could interfere with ongoing research about the vaccines.

Why it matters: Even after the first COVID-19 vaccines are deployed, scientific questions will remain about how they are working and how to improve them.

Keep reading... Show less

Podcast: Behind the Faces of COVID

America yesterday lost 2,762 people to COVID-19, per the CDC, bringing the total pandemic toll to 272,525. That's more than the population of Des Moines, Iowa. Or Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Or Toledo, Ohio.

Axios Re:Cap speaks with Alex Goldstein, creator of the @FacesofCOVID Twitter account, about sharing the stories behind the statistics.

WSJ: Pfizer to ship half as many COVID vaccines this year, citing supply chain issues

Pfizer and BioNTech have halved their original estimate for how many coronavirus vaccines will be shipped globally by the end of this year, citing supply-chain issues, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Why it matters: The U.K. government has ordered 40 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech's vaccine — enough to inoculate some 20 million people. The companies now expect to ship 50 million vaccines by the end of 2020, instead of 100 million, per WSJ.

Keep reading... Show less

Warner Bros. to release all 2021 movies on HBO Max and in theaters at same time

In a move that will undoubtedly shape the future of cinema for years to come, Warner Bros. said Thursday that it will release its entire 2021 film slate on HBO Max, the streaming service owned by its parent AT&T, at the same time that the films debut in theaters.

Why it matters: It's the latest and most aggressive effort by a movie studio to get its titles in front of audiences at home during the pandemic. The move is a major blow to movie exhibitors, which are already struggling to survive the pandemic.

Keep reading... Show less

Trump refuses to say whether he has confidence in Barr

President Trump declined to say on Thursday whether he still has confidence in Attorney General Bill Barr, after insisting that Barr "hasn't done anything" to investigate his unfounded claims of widespread voter fraud.

Why it matters: Trump has weighed firing Barr in recent days, seething about the attorney general's statement this week that the Justice Department has not uncovered evidence of widespread voter fraud that would change the outcome of the election.

Keep reading... Show less

Biden taps Brian Deese to lead National Economic Council

President-elect Joe Biden announced Thursday that he has selected Brian Deese, a former Obama climate aide and head of sustainable investing at BlackRock, to serve as director of the National Economic Council.

Why it matters: The influential position does not require Senate confirmation, but Deese's time working for BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager and an investor in fossil fuels, has made him a target of criticism from progressives.

Keep reading... Show less

How institutions that control vast wealth fall through U.S. regulatory cracks

Financial regulation is not exactly simple anywhere in the world. But one country stands out for the sheer amount of complexity and confusion in its regulatory regime — the U.S.

Why it matters: Important companies fall through the cracks, largely unregulated, while others contend with a vast array of regulatory bodies, none of which are remotely predictable.

Keep reading... Show less

Trump nominee Christopher Waller confirmed to Fed board

The Senate voted 48-47 on Thursday to confirm Trump nominee Christopher Waller to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors — filling one of the two vacant slots on the influential economic body.

Why it matters: It's one of the last marks left on the Fed board by Trump, who has nominated five of its six members.

Keep reading... Show less

Insights

mail-copy

Get Goodhumans in your inbox

Most Read

More Stories