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Lies surround Trump’s business in Russia; an explosion in Colombia’s capital.
Report: Trump told Cohen to lie
- President Trump reportedly told his then-lawyer Michael Cohen to lie under oath about business in Russia, according to a report from BuzzFeed News Thursday evening citing two federal law enforcement officials. [BuzzFeed News / Jason Leopold and Anthony Cormier]
- According to BuzzFeed, Trump supported Cohen’s move to schedule a visit to Russia during the presidential campaign to meet Vladimir Putin and discuss building a Trump Tower in Moscow. [BuzzFeedNews / Jason Leopold and Anthony Cormier]
- But on Friday evening, BuzzFeed added a statement from Mueller’s team that may call those claims into question. A Mueller spokesperson said “specific statements” and characterization of evidence in the story were “not accurate.” [BuzzFeedNews / Jason Leopold and Anthony Cormier]
- As with any anonymously sourced story, it’s not yet clear if the report is accurate — although the reporters involved have broken multiple stories on Trump Tower Moscow this year. But if corroborated, it would strengthen the case that Trump obstructed justice. [Vox / Andrew Prokop]
- If you’re a bit fuzzy on the Trump Tower Moscow, it’s the real estate deal that may have been the initial reason Trump was willing to be friends with Russia: He didn’t want to lose business. Robert Mueller has already said Cohen lied to Congress about the project. [Vox / Alex Ward]
- Telling Cohen to lie could be grounds for charges against Trump for obstruction of justice. The misinformation Trump encouraged Cohen to share could have disrupted the proceedings of Cohen’s trial as well as Mueller’s investigation. [Vox / Sean Illing]
- Trump has responded via Twitter stating that Cohen lied about the Moscow tower dealings to reduce his jail sentence (three years). BuzzFeed’s report does not only use Cohen’s claims, but also cites the Mueller investigation and the two unnamed federal officials. [CNBC / Kevin Breuninger and Mike Calia]
Bogotá car bombing kills 21
- An explosion in Colombia’s capital Thursday that killed 21 people has been potentially tied to a Marxist guerrilla group, the National Liberation Army, or ELN, which has terrorized the country for decades. [The New York Times / Jenny Carolina González and Nicholas Casey]
- Killings among rebel gangs and drug cartels used to plague Bogotá, and now residents fear a return to violence. ELN has not yet claimed responsibility, however this is the first car bombing in the city since the national government and the largest rebel group, FARC, signed a peace deal in 2016. [NPR / Amy Held]
- The suspect is Jose Aldemar Rojas, who was also killed by the bomb. He does not have proven ties with ELN, although he did provide explosives for one of the group’s representatives. [TIME / Joshua Goodman and AP]
- President Duque did not blame a single rebel group for the attack, but has demanded ELN cease all attacks in order to restart peace talks. Meanwhile, many rebels are avoiding the government crackdown by hiding in Venezuela and Cuba. [Time / Joshua Goodman and AP]
- Los Angeles teachers spoke with officials last night about contract changes, but negotiations just prolonged the strikes. [The New York Times / Jennifer Medina]
- #WomensWave. Here’s what to expect if you’re headed to the 2019 Women’s March. [The New York Times / Maya Sal]
- Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie pens an essay on how Jared Kushner wouldn’t let him run the Trump transition. [Politico Magazine / Chris Christie]
- Try NOT eating anything containing corn. It may be harder than you think. [The Atlantic / Sarah Zhang]
- Irony in the Caribbean. The founder of American debt. Here’s what “Hamilton” coming to recovering Puerto Rico means. [The New Yorker / Michael Schulman]
“Tell me, what else should I have done? / Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon? / Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” [Excerpt from the late poet Mary Oliver’s 1992 poem “The Summer Day” via Vanity Fair]
Watch this: How tax brackets actually work
There is a common misunderstanding about how tax brackets work in the US, and it’s causing us to have uninformed debates about taxes. [YouTube / Alvin Chang, Christina Thornell and Kim Mas]
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Correction: A previous version of this article misstated the name of a BuzzFeed reporter. He is Jason Leopold, not Jason Cohen.