Trump claims Cohen campaign violations 'not a crime'

CNN's Abby Phillip reports.

Posted: Aug 23, 2018 4:49 PM
Updated: Aug 23, 2018 4:49 PM

Meet the award-winning chef who favors Philly's cuisine scene over the Big Apple's. Here's what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door. (You can also get "5 Things You Need to Know Today" delivered to your inbox daily. Sign up here.)

1. White House

President Trump said payments made to two women during the 2016 presidential election weren't illegal because they came from him and not from his campaign funds. Trump said this during an interview taped Wednesday with Fox News that's due to air this morning. Trump's ex-attorney, Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations tied to the payments, and he said he knowingly violated the law at the President's direction.

As Trump tried to explain all this, the White House struggled to defend him. Press secretary Sarah Sanders said Trump "did nothing wrong" with the payments and dismissed as "ridiculous" reporters' questions about whether the President had lied about what and when he knew about the payments. Trump and his White House also are sticking to their game plan of attacking special counsel Robert Mueller, as evidenced by this all-caps tweet Trump sent out at about 1 a.m. (!!!!): "NO COLLUSION - RIGGED WITCH HUNT!"

2. Tariffs

New shots in the trade war were fired right at midnight Eastern time. That's when new tariffs on Chinese goods started. The 25% tariffs on $16 billion worth of Chinese products affect 279 items, like chemical products, motorcycles, speedometers and antennas. China, as it had threatened, immediately responded with 25% tariffs of its own on American-made goods, like chemical products and diesel fuel. Many American companies are worried about this tariff tiff, saying they won't be able to absorb the extra costs without raising prices on customers.

3. Verizon

It's an absolutely stunning accusation. A fire department in Northern California says Verizon slowed its wireless data speeds so much last month that firefighters battling the state's largest-ever wildfire almost couldn't communicate. The allegation is contained in a court filing from the Santa Clara County Fire Department. Fire Chief Anthony Bowden said his department had to use other agencies' internet connections or their own personal devices to stay in touch while fighting the Mendocino Complex Fire. An email chain included in court records showed that Verizon didn't increase data speeds until the department paid for a more expensive plan. A Verizon spokeswoman admitted a mistake, saying the company "should have lifted the speed restriction" during the emergency.

4. Mollie Tibbetts

Cristhian Bahena Rivera, the man accused of killing college student Mollie Tibbetts, worked for years on an Iowa farm based on false IDs. Rivera was charged with first-degree murder in Tibbetts' death and his bond set at $5 million. The farm where he worked for four years said he provided a state ID and Social Security card that weren't his. Rivera's attorney said he came to the US illegally as a minor but had held a job in the community and had no prior criminal record. Tibbetts' relatives thanked supporters and expressed their heartbreak, saying they would "carry Mollie in our hearts forever."

5. Hurricane Lane

Schools and government offices are closed in Hawaii as Hurricane Lane takes aim at the Aloha State. Lane's a dangerous Category 4 storm that could make landfall between now and Saturday across the islands. Even if it doesn't, it'll draw close enough to bring destructive winds and as much as 20 inches of rain in some places. The governor told residents to have two weeks' worth of supplies ready. As of this morning, Lane is still about 350 miles south of Honolulu with max sustained winds of 145 miles per hour. You can track the storm here. Warmer water and other factors explain why the Pacific is having a much busier hurricane season than the Atlantic.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

Let's do it again

Fresh off its bigger-than-expected box office triumph, the folks behind "Crazy Rich Asians" are already planning a sequel.

Out with a bang

Get ready to say good-bye to Sheldon and the gang. The next season of "The Big Bang Theory" -- season No. 12 -- will be the last for the hit sitcom.

Legendary match-up

Nothing says Thanksgiving like watching two golfers duke it out for $9 million. That's what we'll get when Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson face off in "The Match."

Wake-up call

Your teens are just as sick of their phones as you are, and if they ever lift their eyes from their devices, they'd tell you themselves.

The robots are coming

These robotic dogs, while impressive, may be too complex and expensive for practical applications. Excuse us if we don't cry for them.

TODAY'S QUOTE

"Any time they don't leave a trust or will, there always ends up being a fight."

Don Wilson, Aretha Franklin's attorney, on the battle brewing within the late singer's family after word got out she didn't have a will or trust

TODAY'S NUMBER

3

The number of games for which Ohio State head football coach Urban Meyer will be suspended without pay. The university says he's being punished for not taking "sufficient management action" against a former assistant coach accused of abusing his wife.

AND FINALLY

Mom knows best

When the baby elephant had trouble standing up in the slippery mud pit, mom knew just what to do. (Click to view.)

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 16769

Reported Deaths: 803
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds110426
Madison77829
Lauderdale76569
Neshoba73945
Jones70933
Scott66312
Forrest60039
DeSoto59310
Rankin4639
Leake45512
Holmes44431
Copiah3344
Jackson31415
Attala31218
Yazoo2985
Newton2924
Oktibbeha28314
Leflore28238
Lincoln28131
Wayne2803
Monroe26925
Harrison2687
Lamar2525
Lowndes2529
Pearl River21231
Pike20411
Adams20416
Warren19910
Washington1998
Lee1978
Noxubee1956
Covington1832
Bolivar16911
Jasper1684
Clarke15619
Smith15611
Lafayette1564
Kemper15611
Chickasaw14314
Coahoma1324
Clay1254
Winston1241
Carroll11911
Marion1169
Claiborne1165
Yalobusha1116
Grenada1104
Lawrence1071
Simpson1050
Sunflower963
Tate931
Hancock9012
Marshall893
Union897
Itawamba897
Webster885
Panola873
Wilkinson859
Montgomery841
Jefferson Davis823
Tippah7611
Calhoun684
Walthall670
Amite651
Humphreys647
Tunica583
Prentiss533
Choctaw522
Perry513
Pontotoc493
Jefferson421
Tishomingo360
Stone320
Quitman320
Tallahatchie311
Greene301
George302
Franklin292
Alcorn191
Benton140
Sharkey70
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 19387

Reported Deaths: 676
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2341123
Jefferson1927105
Montgomery190544
Tuscaloosa85316
Marshall7149
Franklin5939
Lee56334
Shelby53619
Tallapoosa43566
Butler43121
Walker3973
Elmore38110
Chambers36326
Madison3594
Unassigned3144
Morgan3141
Baldwin2969
Dallas2963
Lowndes26912
Etowah26512
DeKalb2603
Autauga2485
Coffee2401
Sumter2369
Houston2275
Pike2231
Bullock2197
Colbert1972
Hale19210
Russell1870
Barbour1831
Marengo1796
Lauderdale1752
Calhoun1693
Cullman1631
Wilcox1587
Choctaw15310
Clarke1492
St. Clair1372
Randolph1288
Dale1250
Marion12511
Talladega1215
Pickens1215
Limestone1100
Chilton1081
Greene955
Macon944
Winston920
Jackson863
Henry842
Covington831
Crenshaw803
Escambia793
Bibb761
Washington746
Blount641
Lawrence510
Monroe492
Geneva450
Perry430
Conecuh421
Coosa401
Cherokee383
Clay282
Lamar280
Fayette160
Cleburne151
Tupelo
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