Here's what's happening in the world of politics Saturday, July 21, 2018:
President Trump: Michael Cohen taping "perhaps illegal"
-- President Donald Trump took to Twitter to address reports that the FBI has obtained recordings between himself and his personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, about a payment over an alleged affair.
The tapes, according to Rudy Giuliani and another source, cover various conversations, one of which though include a payment to former Playboy model, Karen McDougal, over the alleged affair.
"Inconceivable that the government would break into a lawyer’s office (early in the morning) - almost unheard of," Trump tweeted. "Even more inconceivable that a lawyer would tape a client - totally unheard of [and] perhaps illegal. The good news is that your favorite President did nothing wrong!"
The recordings were seized in the FBI raid of Cohen's hotel, residence and office earlier this year during a criminal investigation of Cohen by the US attorney's office for the Southern District of New York.
CIA official: China waging "cold war" against US
-- CIA Deputy Assistant Director Michael Collins said China is working to overtake the US as the world's leading superpower and waging a "cold war."
"By their own terms and what [President] Xi enunciates I would argue by definition what they're waging against us is fundamentally a cold war, a cold war not like we saw during the Cold War, but a cold war by definition," Collins said at the Aspen Security Forum. "A country that exploits all avenues of power licit and illicit, public and private, economic and military, to undermine the standing of your rival relative to your own standing without resorting to conflict. The Chinese do not want conflict."
Collins added that the threat China presents is the greatest global challenge the US currently faces.
Microsoft: Russia attempted to infiltrate three US elections
-- Microsoft says Russian intelligence operatives attempted to hack into online accounts of three congressional campaigns in upcoming midterm elections.
Microsoft's Tom Burt told experts at the Aspen Security Forum the company detected a fake domain likely used to launch a phishing attack on the campaigns.
Burt said the company took down the site and prevent the campaigns from "being infected by that particular attack."