Wednesday was a long day for Michael Cohen and Congress as President Donald Trump’s former lawyer took center stage to answer lawmakers’ questions about his own conduct and that of the president. It was a lot to take in, so we’ve got a recap of the hearing’s most talked about points for you this morning. If you’re already caught up on the hearing, don’t miss my colleague Brandon Harden’s look at the storied history of a North Philly jazz bar that’s still going strong after all these years. It’s star-studded, to say the least.

— Aubrey Nagle (@aubsn, morningnewsletter@philly.com)

Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former fixer and lawyer, testified before Congress Wednesday, calling Trump a “con man,” a “racist,” and a “cheat." In sometimes heated exchanges with the House Oversight and Reform Committee, Cohen spent the day describing how he acted and lied over the years to protect Trump.

Throughout the questioning, Republican lawmakers repeatedly took aim at Cohen’s credibility, though former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie wondered why none were defending Trump. Cohen has been sentenced to three years in prison for campaign finance violations, tax evasion, and lying to Congress.

  • Trump would significantly inflate or deflate the value of his financial assets to suit his purposes, including to insurance companies and for a loan to buy the Buffalo Bills.
  • Trump told him to lie about whether he was aware of hush-money payments made to Stormy Daniels.
  • He has never been to Prague or the Czech Republic, as stated in former MI6 agent Christopher Steele’s now-infamous dossier.
  • Trump once instructed Cohen to find a straw bidder to drive up the price of a portrait of Trump at auction. Trump reimbursed the fake bidder with a $60,000 check from the Trump Organization and kept the portrait for himself.
  • Trump directed him to threaten the president’s “high school, his colleges, and the College Board to never release his grades or SAT scores.” Trump attended the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

The president, meanwhile, was in Vietnam Wednesday for a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, but it abruptly ended Thursday with no deal reached. Trump said talks broke down because North Korea wanted its U.S. sanctions lifted without the country committing to denuclearization.

New Barber’s Hall in North Philadelphia has hosted music legends like John Coltrane, Issac Hays, Patti LaBelle, Dottie Smith — the list goes on.

Jake Adams has owned the Hall since 1978. Through all that time it’s served as a community hub for the neighborhood and for jazz aficionados.

Adams has had offers of up to $3.5 million for his club, which is close to Temple University’s campus. But he’s not going anywhere.

What you need to know today

Through Your Eyes | #OurPhilly

The way the building and sky complement each other is just lovely, @mcjw13.

Tag your Instagram posts or tweets with #OurPhilly and we’ll pick our favorite each day to feature in this newsletter and give you a shout out!

That’s Interesting

Opinions

February 28, 2018
Signe Wilkinson
February 28, 2018

“Our goal has always been to make the park more self-sufficient. Rather than balancing the budget by reduced cleaning, landscaping maintenance, or programming, we are adding a new amenity that everyone is free to patronize or ignore.” — Center City District president Paul R. Levy on why the CCD is bringing a Starbucks to Dilworth Park.

What we’re reading

Rudi Saldia, from Bennett Compost, works his route picking up foods scraps that will be turned into compost, in Philadelphia, Tuesday, February 26, 2019. He is shown here in front of Riverwards Produce on his vehicle.
JESSICA GRIFFIN / Staff Photographer
Rudi Saldia, from Bennett Compost, works his route picking up foods scraps that will be turned into compost, in Philadelphia, Tuesday, February 26, 2019. He is shown here in front of Riverwards Produce on his vehicle.

A Daily Dose of | Compost

No need to throw out those food scraps. Philly entrepreneurs are turning your trash into treasure (aka compost) with bike-based businesses.