Jacquelyn Martin / AP

Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe made headlines this morning during his testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee regarding the state of the Russia investigation and James Comey's termination.

A steady hand: McCabe's testimony jived precisely with his comments in a Los Angeles Times profile last year, shortly after becoming FBI Deputy Director:

My focus is on the stuff we have done for 100 years and do every day that people never hear about.
His backstory
  • He decided during a law school internship at the Department of Justice that a career as an FBI agent sounded like a "cool job."
  • Commonly described as "clean cut," during an interview with the LA Times, his "only bit of flash" was his FBI badge cuff links.
  • His former supervisor called him "very good with people" and a person who "wants to make sure everything is done by the book."
His focus
  • "My focus is on the inside [of the FBI] and all the work we do that is not talked about in the newspaper, on CNN, on the Hill."
  • Last year, McCabe said his primary concern was the "broadening and intensity of the terrorism threat," specifically the scope of its online presence.
  • In 2009, he headed the FBI's High-Value Interrogation Group, charged with successfully interrogating key suspects using legal methods after President Obama prohibited the use of controversial interrogation tactics.
Some controversy
  • His wife ran for a Virginia State Senate seat in 2015, receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations from Democratic operatives, including Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe's PAC — some Republicans said this should have forced his recusal from the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

Go deeper

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Trump's Tucker mind-meld

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Roy Rochlin/Getty Images and BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images

If you want to understand the rhetorical roots of Trump's Independence Day speech at Mount Rushmore, go back and watch Tucker Carlson's monologues for the past six weeks.

Between the lines: Trump — or rather his speechwriter Stephen Miller — framed the president's opposition to the Black Lives Matter protest movement using the same imagery Carlson has been laying out night after night on Fox.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 6 p.m. ET: 11,366,145 — Total deaths: 532,644 — Total recoveries — 6,154,138Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 6 p.m. ET: 2,874,396 — Total deaths: 129,870 — Total recoveries: 906,763 — Total tested: 35,512,916Map.
  3. States: Photos of America's pandemic July 4 ICU beds in Arizona hot spot near capacity — Houston mayor warns about hospitals
  4. Public health: U.S. coronavirus infections hit record highs for 3 straight days.
  5. Politics: Former Trump official Tom Bossert says face masks “are not enough”
  6. World: Mexican leaders call for tighter border control as infections rise in U.S.
  7. Sports: Sports return stalked by coronavirus
  8. 1 📽 thing: Drive-in movie theaters are making a comeback.

Bolton's hidden aftershocks

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The news media has largely moved on, but foreign government officials remain fixated on John Bolton's memoir, "The Room Where It Happened."

Why it matters: Bolton's detailed inside-the-Oval revelations have raised the blood pressure of allies who were already stressed about President Trump's unreliability.