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Drew Angerer/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Michael Avenatti, the outspoken lawyer who is representing adult-film actress Stormy Daniels in her case against the president, claimed that former longtime Trump personal attorney Michael Cohen recorded more than one conversation with Donald Trump -- and that he knows "the substance" of what they discussed.

"I know the substance of some of the tapes," Avenatti told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos on This Week on Sunday.

The New York Times was first to report the existence of a recorded conversation between then-candidate Trump and Cohen, his attorney at the time. In the recording, which was discovered during a court-ordered seizure of Cohen's business records and documents, Trump talks about making a payment linked to former Playboy model Karen McDougal.

McDougal said she had a 10-month "romantic relationship" with Trump. In March, she filed a lawsuit seeking to invalidate a contract she signed with American Media Inc. (AMI), the parent company of the National Enquirer. AMI purchased the rights to McDougal's story for $150,000 in August 2016. As part of the deal, she agreed to write columns for AMI and appear on the covers of its fitness magazines.

According to McDougal's suit, AMI colluded with Trump and Cohen to "buy the story not to publish it," but because AMI CEO David Pecker was "a close friend of Mr. Trump" -- a practice known colloquially as "catch and kill." The lawsuit was settled in April.

Trump, through spokespersons, has denied McDougal's claim that the two engaged in an affair. In February, a White House spokesperson told ABC News, "This is an old story that is just more fake news. The president says he never had a relationship with McDougal."

Although Avenatti has long claimed that there are many recordings of Trump’s conversations, his assertion hasn’t been corroborated.

"If I'm wrong" about the existence of more tapes, Avenatti said on This Week, "then why don’t we have Mr. Trump or his attorneys come forward today, right now, and claim there are no other tapes?"

Alan Dershowitz, a professor emeritus at Harvard Law School, questioned why Avenatti would have access to possible recordings by Cohen, asserting that if such conversations existed, they should have been protected by attorney-client privilege.

Dershowitz said Cohen is "not allowed to cooperate with anybody if there's lawyer-client privileged material."

"All of the information that the FBI seized, that's not under lock and key," said Avenatti, defending the credibility of his assertions. "The only way that it would be improper for me to have it is if I got it from the FBI or somebody in law enforcement. There's a host of other ways I could have obtained that information."

He added, "I could have received it from Michael Cohen, I could have received it from Michael Cohen's counsel, I could have received it from others."

Avenatti also said he had an unplanned encounter with Cohen at a New York City restaurant on Monday, where they had a conversation he described as "fruitful," suggesting that Cohen might eventually "assist" in the Daniels case.

"We've continued to have a dialogue," Avenatti said to Stephanopoulos. "And I think that ultimately, George, Michael Cohen is going to assist us in our search for the truth and what happened here."

"I think," Avenatti added, "you've seen an evolution by Michael Cohen over the last month or so, with the retention of Lanny Davis and others,” referring to Cohen's recent hiring of the former Clinton White House official who wrote a book arguing that former FBI Director James Comey cost Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton the 2016 presidential election.

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ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Responding to the way President Donald Trump conducted himself during a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee said Trump "acts like he's compromised" by the Kremlin.

"I think there's no ignoring the fact that, for whatever reason, this president acts like he's compromised," Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos Sunday on This Week. "There is simply no other way to explain why he would side with this Kremlin -- a former KGB officer -- rather than his own intelligence agencies."

Trump met with Putin privately for more than two hours in Helsinki on Monday, with only their interpreters present. The two leaders held a joint press conference later that day in which Trump appeared to accept what he called Putin's "strong" and "powerful" denials of Russian government interference in the 2016 presidential election.

During the press conference, Trump said, "My people came to me -- Dan Coats came to me and some others -- they said they think it's Russia. I have President Putin. He just said it's not Russia. I will say this: I don't see any reason why it would be."

On Tuesday, Trump said he needed to "clarify" one word he said during the press conference.

"In a key sentence in my remarks, I said the word 'would' instead of 'wouldn't,'" Trump told the cameras during a meeting with members of Congress in the Roosevelt Room. "The sentence should have been: I don't see any reason why I wouldn't -- or why it wouldn't be Russia. So just to repeat it, I said the word 'would' instead of 'wouldn't.'"

"I think that probably clarifies things pretty good by itself," he added.

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Win McNamee/Getty Images(ASPEN, Colo.) -- Like the White House this week, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats was backpedaling on Saturday after his off-the-cuff reaction, live onstage, drew collective gasps for its apparent shots at President Donald Trump.

Coats was onstage conducting an interview at the Aspen Security Forum on Thursday when NBC News' Andrea Mitchell asked him about a tweet stating Trump was inviting Russian President Vladimir Putin to the White House in the fall.

He responded, "Say that again?"

He heartily laughed and then followed with a sarcastic, "OK." He then added, "That's gonna be special."

But on Saturday, Coats said he never meant the comments as a slight to the president and blamed the media for mischaracterizing the response.

"Some press coverage has mischaracterized my intentions in responding to breaking news presented to me during a live interview," Coats said. "My admittedly awkward response was in no way meant to be disrespectful or criticize the actions of the president."

"I and the entire intel community are committed to providing the best possible intelligence to inform and support President Trump’s ongoing efforts to prevent Russian meddling in our upcoming elections, to build strong relationships internationally in order to maintain peace, denuclearize dangerous regimes, and protect our nation and our allies," he added.

He admitted after the interview he was not aware Trump would invite Putin to the White House.

Mitchell was responding to a tweet from White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, which said, "In Helsinki, @POTUS agreed to ongoing working level dialogue between the two security council staffs. President Trump asked @Ambjohnbolton to invite President Putin to Washington in the fall and those discussions are already underway."

Even top politicians seized on the unexpected response from Coats, asking why a top intelligence official was unaware of what Trump told Putin in their meeting at Helsinki last week.

"Why hasn’t @realDonaldTrump told DNI Director Coats about what happened in the Helsinki meeting?" Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., tweeted on Friday. "Does this mean @realDonaldTrump has a secret deal with Putin? Congress needs to interview the interpreter."

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Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- New documents show that one month before the 2016 elections, the FBI sought permission to surveil Carter Page, the one-time foreign policy adviser to the campaign of Donald Trump, because they alleged he had been recruited by the Russian government.

“The FBI believes the Russian government’s efforts are being coordinated with Page and perhaps other individuals associated with [Trump’s] campaign,” the application with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court said.

Page is alleged in the documents to have had “established relationships with Russian Government officials, including Russian intelligence officers.”

In more than 400 pages made public Saturday as a result of a Freedom of Information request by media outlets, and first reported by The New York Times, the government laid out its case for secretly monitoring Page in a series of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act -- or FISA – warrants, each of which was approved by the FISA court. The documents, which include an application and a warrant for surveillance of Page, were first filed in secret in October 2016, are blacked out in the version that was made public. He stepped away from the campaign a month earlier.

The public portions of the documents do not indicate the methods the FBI intended to use to monitor Page.

Page told ABC News Saturday he was stunned by the allegations, which he has repeatedly maintained are false.

“I’m having trouble finding any small bit of this document that rises above complete ignorance and/or insanity,” he said in a text message response to questions about the surveillance request.

The documents show the warrant applications were submitted and approved at least through June 2017, with the June 2017 application signed by FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

The release of the document comes in the wake of a lengthy partisan disagreement in congress over allegations that the FBI abused its powers when seeking to secretly monitor someone who was once associated with the Trump campaign – though the campaign later distanced itself from Page.

Republicans who saw the full classified documents have previously alleged that surveillance of Page was improperly based on information gathered by Christopher Steele, a former British agent who gathered intelligence on alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russians. But the highly redacted documents released Saturday indicate that Steele’s information was just one of many reasons the FBI was concerned about Page.

Steele was working for a research company that, while initially hired by Trump’s Republican political opponents, was later funded by a Democratic Party law firm.

In recent months, Republicans have insisted the FBI did not adequately disclose the political motivations behind the research. But in the documents released Saturday, the FBI said it “speculates” that those behind the research were “likely looking for information that could be used to discredit Candidate 1’s campaign.”

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Paul Morigi/Getty Images(PHOENIX) -- Former Vice President Joe Biden denounced the current administration's handling of issues, including immigration, on Friday night, saying in a speech in Arizona, "We're in the midst of an all-out assault on human dignity."

Biden was addressing the League of United Latin American Citizens at an event in Phoenix, where he said, "Grotesque lies about immigrants and policies that rip babies from their mothers' arms carry echoes of the darkest moments in our history."

"Not only are they a national shame," Biden added, "they tarnish the very idea of America and diminish our standing in the world."

It's not the first time Biden has criticized the administration or President Donald Trump.

In February, the former vice president said Trump was "a joke" and that his criticism of the FBI was "just a disaster." A month later, he said that if he and Trump attended the same high school, he "would have beat the hell out of him" for disrespecting women, adding, "I've been in a lot of locker rooms my whole life. I'm a pretty damn good athlete. Any guy that talked that way was usually the fattest, ugliest S.O.B. in the room."

Biden later walked back the comment, but not before Trump responded on Twitter that Biden was "weak, mentally and physically" and he "would go down fast and hard, crying all the way."

On Thursday, the president said in a CBS News interview, when asked against whom he'd most like to run in 2020: "I dream about Biden." Later in the interview, according to reports, Trump said Barack Obama took Biden "out of the garbage heap, and everybody was shocked that he did. I'd love to have it be Biden." A Biden spokesperson declined to comment at the time.

In his comments on Friday night, the former vice president also criticized the administration's "betrayal of the Dreamers," Trump's pardoning of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, underfunding schools, attacking organized labor and neglecting Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

He encouraged those in attendance "to vote, to raise up your voices and, especially, to run for office" as "we fight to preserve the promise of a proud, inclusive middle class."

"I was raised by a man -- my father -- who believed with every fiber in his being that everyone -- everyone -- deserves to be treated with dignity," Biden said. "We're in the midst of an all-out assault on human dignity -- yes, at the border, but also in the courtroom, in the classroom and on the factory floor."

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Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- In a tweet describing himself as "your favorite President," Donald Trump fired back at claims that his former personal attorney secretly recorded a phone call in which they allegedly discussed hush money paid to a former Playboy model.

The recording, which hasn't been made public, was discovered as part of an FBI raid in April on attorney Michael Cohen's home office and hotel in New York, sources told ABC News. The Playboy model in question is Karen McDougal, who has claimed she had an affair with Trump.

"Inconceivable that the government would break into a lawyer’s office (early in the morning) - almost unheard of," Trump tweeted Saturday morning. "Even more inconceivable that a lawyer would tape a client - totally unheard of & perhaps illegal. The good news is that your favorite President did nothing wrong!"

 President Trump's legal team tells ABC News that the president has chosen "not to assert" attorney-client privilege on the audio recording.

"It was already out there, so no point in objecting except on principle," said Rudy Giuliani, Trump's personal attorney.

A source with knowledge of Cohen's legal team, however, said it was a "very foolish strategy by Team Trump."

"It is the client who owns the privilege and not the lawyer. In this specific instance, it was Trump who waived the privilege after Special Master Jones ruled the tape was privileged," the source said. "Team Trump actually contacted the judge and waived the privilege, thus, permitting Rudy the ability to release his version of the tape’s content.

"It is ironic that Trump would complain about a privileged tape that would not have been released and then chooses to make it public himself," the source added.

The raid on Cohen's home office and hotel stemmed from an investigation by New York federal prosecutors for potential violations of banking and election laws.

The seized recording includes a short conversation between Cohen and Trump -- then a candidate for president -- talking about a plan allegedly devised by Cohen to prevent McDougal from publicly disclosing claims she had an affair with Trump in 2006, according to sources familiar with the investigation.

Trump, who married first lady Melania Trump in January 2005, has repeatedly denied having an affair with McDougal, the 1998 Playboy Playmate of the Year.

Laws in New York governing the recording of phone conversations do not require two-party consent. However, 11 states -- including Florida, where Trump spends a lot of time -- do require that both people in a conversation are aware a recording is taking place.

It's unclear where Trump and Cohen were when the recording was made, which sources said was about two months before the November 2016 election. Around that time, Trump was campaigning heavily in Pennsylvania and New Hampshire, two states that do require two-party consent.

Rudy Giuliani, now Trump's personal attorney, confirmed to ABC News that the president did have a discussion with Cohen before the election, but the former New York City mayor said the payment to McDougal discussed on that call was never made. Giuliani also said the recording in question is less than two minutes long.

In the conversation, Cohen and Trump discussed purchasing the rights to McDougal's story from American Media Inc. (AMI), since the company, which publishes the National Enquirer, had already bought the rights to her story, according to sources familiar with the audio recording. Cohen proposed paying about $150,000 to AMI, the sources said. On tape, Trump can be heard telling Cohen to make sure the payment is properly documented in order to keep a record of it, according to the sources.

The sources said that payment never happened.

"Nothing in that conversation suggests that he had any knowledge of it in advance," Giuliani told ABC News. "In the big scheme of things, it's powerful exculpatory evidence."

McDougal, 47, alleges that she had a 10-month romantic affair with Trump in 2006. After being silent for more than a decade, she started speaking about it earlier this year, first opening up in an interview with The New Yorker's Ronan Farrow in February. She told CNN's Anderson Cooper in March that her first intimate encounter with Trump was in June 2006, after she met him at the Playboy mansion during a taping there of The Apprentice.

"I was attracted to him," McDougal said in the CNN interview. "He's a nice-looking man. I liked his charisma."

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US Senate(CHARLESTON, W.Va) -- West Virginians, who attended a town hall Friday to discuss Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh with Sen. Joe Manchin, urged him to ask the judge about hot-button issues such as his past writings on prosecuting presidents and his views on government surveillance.

Manchin, a Democrat, who said he would meet with Kavanaugh within the next two weeks, held the roundtable discussion with about 25 local political activists and attorneys to solicit opinions on and questions for the president's nominee.

Kavanaugh has met with more than a dozen Republican senators since his nomination, resulting in a chorus of favorable reviews.

And while he has yet to meet with any Democrats, he is clearly in discussions about doing so.

“We can do it as random as you want to do it,” Manchin said as he kicked off the roundtable discussion, held at the West Virginia Lottery Headquarters building, urging participants to talk about whatever they wanted.

Jon Mani, a Charleston attorney, told Manchin he was concerned about Kavanaugh’s argument in a 2011 Minnesota Law Review article that sitting presidents should not be subject to prosecution while in office.

“You look at his writings, his opinions, he’s very very behind almost, an imperial executive theory,” Mani said. “The president is exempt from lawsuits while in office. Can’t be indicted while in office. This is terrifying,” he added.

“We’ve heard a lot about that,” Manchin said, pledging that his legal advisors were gathering all the information they could about Kavanaugh’s views on the topic and that he was sure to ask him about it.

Lee Javins, also a lawyer, expressed concerns about Kavanaugh’s opinion in a 2015 case involving the National Security Agency.

Kavanaugh wrote that the NSA’s collection of cell phone metadata was not subject to Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures because it was data obtained from a third party private company with which consumers chose to engage.

Kavanaugh also argued a separate point, which alarms some surveillance skeptics even more, that even if the phone data collection was subject to Fourth Amendment protections, the protections wouldn't apply if the data collection was for national security purposes.

Javins asked Manchin to ask the nominee: “Where do you draw the line where it comes to privacy?”

During the hour-and-a-half conversation, Manchin lamented that Supreme Court nominees have become less candid during their meetings with senators who will approve or block their joining the high court.

“The thing I don’t like anymore is the judges ... right now everything’s become such a hot topic and they don’t want to talk about anything. They need to talk,” he said.

To that point, Jonathan Marshall, another attorney in the audience, urged Manchin to consider the entire breadth of Kavanaugh’s public documents, all of which Senate Democrats are trying to obtain. Kavanaugh had previously worked in the Bush administration, meaning all of his writings during that period are archived.

“We also understand there’s over potentially a million documents, perhaps, out there that may have all of his writings, opinions from the judge that have yet to be viewed,” Marshall said. “What do those things say? Are there other writings out there? It’s one thing to be on the court, with colleagues, being guarded ... Sometimes they don’t necessarily reflect the true opinions,” he added.

Manchin, who voted for President Donald Trump’s first Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, is also facing a steep re-election challenge this year from the Republican state attorney general, Patrick Morrissey. Morrissey has previously said he thinks Manchin will vote for Kavanaugh for the senator's "political survival.”

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Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The U.S. is calling out China and Russia for helping North Korea violate United Nations sanctions as the regime smuggles in more oil than is allowed.

The illegal transfers are now disrupting the U.S. talks with North Korea and its push for the regime to completely dismantle its nuclear weapons program, according to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley.

But nearly six weeks after President Trump's summit with Kim Jong Un, it's unclear where those talks stand and how successful the U.S. diplomatic push has been or even could be.

Pompeo traveled to New York Friday to join Haley for a meeting with the U.N. Security Council representatives, including Chinese and Russian representatives, for what Haley called "frank talk."

"We put pressure today on China and Russia to abide and be good helpers through this situation and to help us continue with denuclearization," she said after the meetings.

Pompeo and Haley also met with the South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and the U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, both of whom have supported the Trump administration's negotiations with North Korea.

While Pompeo declared that the U.N. Security Council was "united on the need for final, fully verified denuclearization of North Korea, as agreed to by Chairman Kim," he said, "Strict enforcement of sanctions is critical to achieving this goal."

But in what seemed like a warning if talks fell apart, he added, "When sanctions are not enforced, the prospects for the successful denuclearization of North Korea are diminished."

The U.S. and North Korea have met twice this week, but to discuss the return of remains of Americans who were prisoners of war or missing in action during the Korean War. After Pompeo's third trip to Pyongyang, North Korea released a scathing statement, saying the U.S. made "gangster-like" demands and calling the meetings "regrettable" and even "cancerous."

The administration has pushed back on those characterizations and said the talks between the two sides continue to move forward, with working groups established.

"The conversations continue ... We're working on it. We have teams in place that are working very hard on this issue every day," State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said Wednesday.

But North Korea has taken no demonstrable steps towards denuclearization, and now, according to Pompeo and Haley, it is violating those sanctions with Chinese and Russian help by illegally smuggling petroleum products into the country at levels higher than allowed by U.N. sanctions.

Pompeo said in the first five months of this year, there were at least 89 ship-to-ship transfers of oil -- an evasive practice where sanctioned products are exchanged in international waters by ships that often hide or obscure their identity. Haley added that the U.S. has "photographs of proof" of those transfers and that they continue to happen.

At the U.N. Thursday, the U.S. proposed a halt to all additional oil shipments because of these violations, but China and Russia blocked it, saying they needed more information.

"We don't need any more information," Haley said Friday. "The problem that we are encountering is that some of our friends have decided that they want to go around the rules."

Despite the sanctions violations, Pompeo said President Trump and he both remain "upbeat about the prospects of denuclearization."

"The path ahead is not easy, it will take time. But our hopes for a safer world for all of us and a brighter future for North Korea remains our objective, and that hope endures," he said.

If the path to get there is "not easy," it is "pretty straightforward," Pompeo said. The U.S. needs to "see Chairman Kim do what he promised the world he would do" and completely denuclearize, "the scope and scale of that is agreed to. The North Koreans understand what that means."

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Pompeo, Haley call out China, Russia for helping North Korea violate sanctions

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US Department of Justice(WASHINGTON) -- The Justice Department official overseeing special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe vowed on Thursday that politics “must play no role” in U.S. government efforts to stop foreign attacks and influence campaigns, but he also insisted that politics must play no role in how individual Americans assess and respond to those threats.

“We must address foreign national security threats patriotically as Americans, and not politically as Republicans and Democrats,” Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said at the annual Aspen Security Forum.



Rosenstein’s comments come as President Donald Trump and many Republicans dismiss Mueller’s probe as a “witch hunt” and hammer the FBI over anti-Trump sentiments captured in thousands of text messages sent between a then-FBI attorney and a senior agent who briefly worked on the probe.

“Heated debates and passionate disagreements about public policy and political leadership are essential to democracy,” but “foreign governments should not be secret participants, covertly spreading propaganda and fanning the flames of division,” Rosenstein said.

“I want to emphasize that covert propaganda disseminated by foreign adversaries is fundamentally different from domestic partisan wrangling,” and Americans must resolve their disagreements “at the ballot box,” Rosenstein noted.

Meanwhile, the Justice Department says it will do what it can through investigations and prosecutions to fight foreign influence operations and other threats.

“It is not the government’s job to determine whether political opinions are right or wrong, but that does not leave the government powerless to address the national security danger when a foreign government engages in covert information warfare,” according to Rosenstein.

Rosenstein said “in all cases” opened by the Justice Department and FBI, “partisan political considerations must play no role.”

“We cannot seek to benefit or harm any lawful group, individual or organization,” he said. “Our government does not take any official position on what people should believe or how they should vote, but it can and should protect them from fraud and deception perpetrated by foreign agents.”

As part of its effort to protect Americans from foreign influence, the Justice Department will seek to publicly expose “the nature” of foreign operations even more than it has in recent years, the department announced Thursday.

“Knowledge is power,” Rosenstein said alongside the announcement.

Rosenstein did not take questions while at the forum in Aspen, Colorado. But at the forum on Wednesday, FBI director Christopher Wray was asked to respond to Trump’s attacks on Mueller’s probe.

“I do not believe special counsel Mueller is on a witch hunt.” Wray said, describing Mueller as a “straight-shooter” who’s running a “professional” investigation.

Mueller's office has already charged more than two dozen Russian hackers and intelligence operatives for allegedly meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign. Several Americans associated with Trump's presidential campaign have been charged for allegedly lying to the FBI or financial-related crimes.

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Agromov/iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Between 5,000 and 7,000 service members could march in President Donald Trump's military parade, according to a U.S. defense official familiar with parade planning documents.

The figures are according to a presentation briefed to local Department of Defense leadership earlier this month on the progress of the planning, said the official who was not present for that briefing.

ABC News has not viewed a copy of the plan.

Dozens of DoD personnel are currently supporting the planning of the parade and it is estimated that nearly 3,000 employees will work behind the scenes during the week it's scheduled to take place, the official said of the current plans.

About 50 individuals in the DC area are now supporting the planning of the parade, scheduled for Saturday, November 10. That number is expected to grow to 100 by the Labor Day holiday, and then to about 3,000 the week of the parade, the official said.

Those contributing to the parade's planning efforts are a mix of civilian and military employees. Some of the nearly 3,000 individuals who will likely support those efforts during the week of the parade will be security personnel.

In addition to the 5,000 to 7,000 individuals who could be marching, the parade, which is slated to begin at the U.S. Capitol and end at the White House, is currently expected to feature about 100 vehicles, 50 aircraft, and 100 horses, the official said.

A March memo from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford said no tanks would be used in the parade, only wheeled vehicles in order to "minimize damage to local infrastructure." There was also a request to "include a heavy air component at the end of the parade, to include older aircraft as available."

The official confirmed that the latest planning presentation included a mix of current and vintage aircraft.

A spokesman for U.S. Northern Command did not confirm the exact numbers of U.S. personnel who could march in the parade but told ABC News that "several thousand" are anticipated to participate.

"It is anticipated that several thousand Armed Forces personnel will participate in the parade, as well as provide ceremonial support including musical units, marching bands, and color guards, to render appropriate ceremonial honors to our Nation's military members, Veterans and their Families," a spokesman for U.S. Northern Command told ABC News in a statement. "The parade will honor the contributions of veterans, the current force, and the future force. More details and specifics about the Veterans Day Military Parade will be announced at a later date."

Earlier this week, a separate U.S. defense official confirmed to ABC News that the parade was estimated to cost about $12 million. That number is a preliminary estimate, ultimately dependent on the actual size and scope of the parade. In February, White House budget director Mick Mulvaney told the House Budget Committee that the cost could range between $10 and $30 million.

In comparison, the cost of the suspended U.S. and South Korean military exercises that were scheduled to take place in August was $14 million. Trump said after his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that those "war games" were "provocative" and "very expensive."

Trump first mentioned the idea of a grand parade after attending France's Bastille Day parade last summer. Then, in February, he asked the Pentagon to begin planning for such a parade to take place in the U.S.

The date of November 10 is one day before Veteran's Day, that will also coincide with the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.

"The intent for the parade is to be in conjunction with that celebration, so that will be the theme, the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I on November 11," Pentagon spokesman Col. Rob Manning told reporters earlier this month.

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Mark Makela/Corbis/Getty Images(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- The Republican National Committee (RNC) officially announced Friday that Charlotte, North Carolina, will play host to the party's 2020 convention.

"I am thrilled to announce Charlotte as the official host city for the 2020 Republican National Convention," RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said in a statement released on Friday. "We look forward to seeing the Queen City take center stage as the Republican Party re-nominates President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence to continue fighting for the American people."

The decision comes after the Charlotte City Council narrowly voted to approve hosting the 2020 convention, where President Trump is widely expected to be nominated for a second term.

The 6-5 vote by the Charlotte City Council was marked by fierce debate over Trump and some of his administration's more controversial policies, and whether the heavily Democratic city is endorsing those policies by hosting the convention.

According to the Charlotte Observer, more than 100 speakers gave their opinions throughout the debate over hosting the event.

Democrat Larken Egleston, who cast the deciding vote in favor of hosting the GOP, said “hosting the RNC in Charlotte in no way implies our endorsement of this president."

Justin Harlow, a Democratic council member who voted "no," said he'd "no sooner bring Donald Trump to Charlotte" than "welcome a Klan rally to Charlotte."

Vi Lyles, the Democratic mayor of Charlotte who championed the bid, tweeted Friday that she believes the city's decision to host the 2020 Republican convention "conveys a positive message supporting our city’s belief in acceptance and inclusion."

"Charlotte’s booming economy is a prime example of how President Trump’s agenda is improving lives, spurring growth and creating opportunity for millions of Americans," said Brad Parscale, the campaign manager for Trump's 2020 re-election effort. "We look forward to continuing our ‘America First’ momentum here in the Queen City and delivering four more years of historic victories and tremendous success."

Charlotte and Las Vegas were the only two cities mounting serious bids to host the pivotal event.

2020 will mark the second time in the last three presidential cycles that Charlotte has played host to a major political convention. In 2012, the city hosted the Democratic National Convention, where President Obama was nominated and ultimately won a second term.

North Carolina has cemented its status as a presidential battleground state in recent cycles. The state narrowly voted for Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election, the first time a Democratic candidate captured the state since Jimmy Carter in 1976. In 2016, Republicans held their convention in Cleveland, Ohio.

In 2012, Mitt Romney narrowly defeated President Obama in North Carolina. In 2016, Trump won the state with just under 50 percent of the vote.

Democrats have not yet selected a location for their 2020 convention, but are reportedly considering three cities as finalists: Houston, Miami Beach and Milwaukee.

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ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Investigators discovered recordings made by Michael Cohen, at least one of which includes then-candidate Donald Trump talking about making a payment related to a former Playboy model, sources familiar with the matter confirmed to ABC News.

The recording was found as part of the raid on Michael Cohen’s home office and hotel carried out earlier this year in New York, the sources told ABC News.

The New York Times first reported the news of the recording.

The Playboy model in question is reportedly Karen McDougal, who has previously claimed that she had an affair with Trump. The White House previously denied McDougal's claims.

Cohen is under criminal investigation by New York federal prosecutors in a case that’s separate from the one that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is pursuing.

Sources said that investigators were looking into Cohen’s personal business dealings as well as those with Trump’s alleged mistresses and media organizations as well as the 2016 campaign.

The April raid on Cohen’s home office and hotel – unusual for targeting an attorney – sparked outrage from the president, who called it “an attack on our country.”

Cohen, the president’s longtime fixer and personal attorney, was known for his loyalty to Trump, vowing to “take a bullet” for him. But he recently told ABC News’ chief anchor, George Stephanopoulos: “I put family and country first.”

Cohen has not been charged with a crime.

Rudy Giuliani, who is now Trump’s personal attorney, confirmed to ABC News Trump did have a discussion with Cohen before the election but he said that the payment to McDougal that was being discussed was never made. Giuliani also said the recording in question is less than two minutes long.

The payment, as ABC News has previously reported, was made to McDougal by AMI.

“Nothing in that conversation suggests that he had any knowledge of it in advance,” Giuliani said to ABC News.

“In the big scheme of things, it’s powerful exculpatory evidence,” he said.

McDougal, who was Playmate of the Month in December 1997 and Playmate of the Year in 1998, alleges that she had a 10-month romantic affair with Trump in 2006. After being silent for more than a decade, McDougal started speaking about it earlier this year, first opening up in an interview with The New Yorker’s Ronan Farrow in February.

McDougal told CNN's Anderson Cooper in March that her first intimate encounter with Trump came in June 2006, soon after she met the New York real-estate tycoon at the Playboy mansion during a taping there of his reality series, The Apprentice. At the time, Trump had recently married the now-first lady Melania Trump, and the couple had an infant son.

"I was attracted to him," McDougal said. "He's a nice looking man. I liked his charisma."

In March, McDougal filed a lawsuit in state court in California, seeking to invalidate a contract she signed with American Media, Inc., the parent company of the National Enquirer. In August 2016, AMI purchased the rights to McDougal's story in exchange for $150,000 and a deal for her to write columns and appear on covers of fitness magazines owned by AMI. But AMI never published a story about her alleged affair with Trump.

She's alleging in court filings that AMI colluded with her former attorney and Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, to purchase her story with the purpose of burying it in advance of the election. AMI has denied the allegations.

In the interview with CNN, McDougal claimed that she is a lifelong Republican who voted for Trump and that she has no financial motivation for speaking out. She said she would be willing to return the $150,000 she received from AMI. "I just want my rights back," she told CNN.

A White House spokesperson said in a statement to ABC News in February that Trump denies having an affair with the ex-Playboy model: "This is an old story that is just more fake news. The President says he never had a relationship with McDougal."

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Tamir Kalifa/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The U.S. government said late Thursday that it has reunited about 14 percent of the migrant children aged 5-17 separated from their families at the border, as a court-ordered deadline looms less than a week away.

Of the 2,551 children stripped from their parents or family members, 364 have been reconnected, according to the latest statement provided to ABC News by the Department of Health and Human Services. Of the 103 children younger than 5, 57 have been reconnected.

The court-ordered deadline to reunite everyone, issued by U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw, is July 26.

The government said that, in the coming days, it will provide various lists of parents and children to plaintiffs in the case, but admitted they're "still determining" whether they can provide a list of parents in criminal custody.

More than 900 children are either "not eligible or not yet known to the eligible," with the vast majority undergoing evaluations to verify next of kin and therefore ensure child safety, according to official reports.

The judge on Monday put a temporary hold on deporting parents as the government worked on a response to a request from the ACLU that parents receive at least a week to consider applying for asylum in the U.S. after they get their children back.

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Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats was being interviewed on stage at the Aspen Security Forum Thursday when he was surprised to hear President Donald Trump was inviting Vladimir Putin to Washington this fall.

"Say that again?” Coats responded with laughter after being told the news. “OK, that’s going to be special.”

NBC News Correspondent Andrea Mitchell, who was interviewing Coats, paused to inform him and the audience of the invitation, announced by White House press secretary Sarah Sanders in a tweet posted while Coats was speaking at the Aspen Institute event.

"We have some breaking news," Mitchell said. "The White House has announced on Twitter that Vladimir Putin is coming to the White House in the fall."

Later, a reporter in the audience asked Coats whether he had been aware beforehand.

"I think based on my reaction I wasn't aware of that," he responded.

Mitchell then asked Coats whether he would recommend against another private, one-on-one meeting between Trump and Putin without note takers as happened at their summit Monday in Helsinki, Finland.

"If I were asked that question, I would look for a different way of doing it," he said.

Thursday caps off a week in which Coats, who leads the United States intelligence community, has seemed at odds with Trump.

At his joint press conference with Putin on Monday, Trump appeared to cast doubt on the conclusions of U.S. intelligence agencies that Putin ordered the Russian government to interfere with the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

"People came to me, Dan Coats came to me, and some others -- they said they think it's Russia," Trump said. "I have president Putin, he just said it's not Russia. I will say this, I don't see any reason why it would be."

Before Trump on Tuesday said he misspoke, and meant to say he had no reason to believe "it wouldn't be Russia" behind the election interference, Coats responded in a same-day statement defending the work of the intelligence community.

"We have been clear in our assessments of Russian meddling in the 2016 election and their ongoing, pervasive efforts to undermine our democracy, and we will continue to provide unvarnished and objective intelligence in support of our national security," he wrote.

At the Aspen event Thursday, Mitchell asked Coats about his thoughts on the president's remarks in Helsinki.

“Obviously I wished he had made a different statement," he said. "But I think that now that has been clarified, based on his late reactions to this, and so I don’t think I want to go any further than that.”

As Trump clarified his position Tuesday, he emphasized that there was no collusion between his campaign and Russia, and reaffirmed his "full faith and support" for America's intelligence agencies.

"I accept our intelligence community's conclusion that Russia's meddling in the 2016 election took place," the president said.

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Stockbyte/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- President Donald Trump has instructed National Security Adviser John Bolton to invite Russian President Vladimir Putin to Washington this fall and “discussions are already underway,” according to a tweet from White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

The invitation comes just days after the president met the Russian leader in Helsinki and drew sharp bipartisan criticism for refusing to publicly confront Putin about Russian interference in the 2016 election during their press conference -- and for casting doubt on the conclusion of the U.S. intelligence community that Putin had ordered it.

And it came just hours after Sanders issued a statement that the president, facing a political backlash from Republicans as well as Democrats, now "disagrees" with Putin's proposal that Russian investigators be allowed to questions Americans, including former U.S. ambassador to Moscow Michael McFaul.

Putin said that should be in exchange for special counsel Robert Mueller's team being allowed to work with Russian investigators to question the 12 Russians indicted in the election interference investigation. At the summit, Trump called it "an incredible offer."

Thursday's development was just the latest example of the president walking back comments related to the summit.

When ABC News reporter Cecilia Vega asked the President on Wednesday, “Is Russia still targeting the U.S., Mr. President?” Trump replied, “Thank you very much, no” and confirmed his answer when Vega followed up.

Later on Wednesday, Sanders suggested an alternate meaning to the president’s “no,” suggesting he was refusing to take questions about the topic.

While the White House said nothing about the exact timing being discussed about a second meeting, the president, pushing back on criticism that he had looked weak compared to Putin at the Helsinki summit, said in a tweet Thursday morning that he was "looking forward" to another encounter.

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer issued a statement reflecting Democratic demands that lawmakers be told more about what happened during Trump's private meeting with Putin Monday.

“Until we know what happened at that two hour meeting in Helsinki, the president should have no more one-on-one interactions with Putin. In the United States, in Russia, or anywhere else,” Schumer said.

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