September 27, 2019

Former Ukrainian prosecutor Yuriy Lutsenko might be a bit closer with Rudy Giuliani than President Trump's team might like.

In an interview with NBC News aired Friday, Lutsenko, who left his position late last month, addressed his now-recanted skepticism of the Biden family over the dismissal of previous prosecutor Viktor Shokin. "I don't know any possible violation of Ukrainian law" by either Joe Biden or his son Hunter Biden, Lutsenko said — though it seems Giuliani did push him to find one.

Lutsenko served as Ukraine's top prosecutor after Shokin, who then-Vice President Biden and other western officials accused of letting corruption slide. But Shokin had previously investigated Burisma, an energy company Hunter Biden worked for, leading Lutsenko to speculate Joe Biden's dislike of Shokin had something to do with that. Both Giuliani and Trump seemed to agree, and Giuliani had made investigating the Bidens his near-singular focus for the past year. Lutsenko told NBC News he was not in "regular contact" with Giuliani, but he did speak to him "maybe 10 times" about the Bidens and "other political issues."

Yet even after Lutsenko reversed his Biden speculation in a May interview with Bloomberg, Trump still seemed to praise him in a July phone call with Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky. Trump did not mention the name of the "very good prosecutor" who was looking into Biden, so it could've been Lutsenko or Shokin. A whistleblower complaint about the call specifically said Trump was asking Zelensky to keep Lutsenko on as a prosecutor.

Like he said in the NBC News interview, "from the perspective of Ukrainian legislation," Hunter Biden "did not violate anything," Yutsenko told The Washington Post on Thursday. Kathryn Krawczyk

2:30 p.m.

Mort Drucker, the beloved artist known for his work at MAD magazine, has died at 91.

Drucker died Wednesday at his home in New York, his friend John Reiner confirmed to The New York Times. Reiner told CNN's Jake Tapper his death was not thought to be related to COVID-19.

After joining MAD in 1956, Drucker's hilarious caricatures satirizing pop culture soon became iconic, and he illustrated more than half of the magazine's movie parodies from the 1960s through 2008, per the Times. In a 2000 interview with the Times, he noted, "I think I've drawn almost everyone in Hollywood."

Among Drucker's other notable work includes the poster for George Lucas' American Graffiti; according to The Hollywood Reporter, Lucas personally drove to Drucker's home on Long Island to convince him to draw it.

"The World has lost a not just an extraordinary talent but a shining example of kindness, humility and humor," the National Cartoonists Society said in a statement.

MAD fans on Thursday quickly began sharing their favorite cartoons from Drucker's legendary career, including his parodies of Jaws and Star Wars. "Many of his illustrations are as vivid in my mind as the movies and TV shows that inspired them," The New York Times' Dave Itzkoff wrote.

Reiner told CNN's Jake Tapper that Drucker's final words to him were, "I'm the luckiest man — I've had a wonderful life." Brendan Morrow

2:11 p.m.

First lady Melania Trump is officially donning a face mask during the COVID-19 pandemic, although the jury's still out on whether her husband will follow suit.

In a social media post Thursday, the first lady shared a photo of herself wearing what appears to be a surgical mask, touting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recommendation "to wear cloth face coverings."

"Remember, this does NOT replace the importance of social distancing," she wrote. "It is recommended to keep us all safe."

Melania's masking comes one week after President Trump announced he would not be wearing a mask, despite the CDC-issued guidelines urging people to do so. At the time, Trump implied that it would be odd to be "sitting in the Oval Office, behind that beautiful Resolute Desk" while wearing a mask, so it's unclear how he's taking this news.

The photo of the first lady appears to show her wearing a surgical mask rather than the CDC-recommended "cloth face covering," the former of which is recommended only for use by health care professionals and medical first responders amid critical supply shortages.