Feb 14, 2019

Former FBI deputy director claims there were 25th Amendment talks

In an upcoming interview with "60 Minutes," former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe told CBS's Scott Pelley that the Justice Department had to discuss "whether the vice president and a majority of the cabinet could be brought together to remove" President Trump under the 25th Amendment.

Why it matters: McCabe's interview with Pelley marks the first person involved in those meetings to speak publicly. "They were counting noses," Pelley told "CBS This Morning" on Thursday. "They were not asking cabinet members whether they would vote for or against removing the president, but they were speculating."

  • The NYT first reported on this back in September of 2017.
  • "I never pursued or authorized recording the President and any suggestion that I have ever advocated for the removal of the President is absolutely false," a Justice Department spokesperson on behalf of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told Axios at the time.

The other side: A DOJ spokesman commented on McCabe's interview, saying Rosenstein "rejects Mr. McCabe’s recitation of events as inaccurate and factually incorrect. The Deputy Attorney General never authorized any recording that Mr. McCabe references."

  • "As the Deputy Attorney General previously stated, based on his personal dealings with the president, there is no basis to invoke the 25th Amendment, nor was the DAG in a position to consider invoking the 25th Amendment."
  • "Subsequent to this removal, DOJ’s Inspector General found that Mr. McCabe did not tell the truth to the federal authorities on multiple occasions, leading to his termination from the FBI."

Go deeper: Fired FBI deputy director: Trump directed Rosenstein to write Comey memo

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The cost of going after Bloomberg

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Here's the growing dilemma for 2020 Democrats vying for a one-on-one showdown with frontrunner Bernie Sanders: Do they have the guts — and the money — to first stop Mike Bloomberg?

Why it matters: Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren all must weigh the costs of punching Bloomberg where he looks most vulnerable: stop-and-frisk, charges of sexism, billionaire entitlement. The more zealous the attacks, the greater the risk he turns his campaign ATM against them.

How Trump’s economy stacks up

Source: "Presidents and US Economy", Trump figures through 2019 courtesy of Alan Blinder; Note: Data shows real GDP and Q1 growth in each term is attributed to the previous president; Chart: Axios Visuals

Average economic growth under President Trump has outpaced the growth under Barack Obama, but not all of his recent predecessors.

Why it matters: GDP is the most comprehensive economic scorecard — and something presidents, especially Trump, use as an example of success. And it's especially relevant since Trump is running for re-election on his economic record.

Coronavirus cases rise as 14 American evacuees infected

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's NHC; Note: China refers to mainland China and the Diamond Princess is the cruise ship offshore Yokohama, Japan. Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

14 Americans evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship tested positive for the novel coronavirus before being flown in a "specialist containment" on a plane repatriating U.S. citizens back home, the U.S. government said early Monday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 1,770 people and infected almost 70,000 others. Most cases and all but five of the deaths have occurred in mainland China. Taiwan confirmed its first death on Sunday, per multiple reports, in a 61-year-old man with underlying health conditions. Health officials were investigating how he became ill.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health