May 31, 2018

Andrew McCabe turned over memo on Comey firing to Mueller

Andrew McCabe at a news conference. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe reportedly turned over a confidential memo detailing a behind-the-scenes conversation between McCabe and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein where Rosenstein explained that President Trump asked him to refer to the Russia investigation in a memo opposing then-FBI Director James Comey, reports the New York Times citing people familiar with the conversation.

Why it matters: As Axios' Mike Allen and Jonathan Swan previously reported, any obstruction of justice claim centers around Comey's firing and request from Trump for Rosenstein to include Russia in a memo rebuking James Comey could lead to an obstruction of justice charge against the president. The Times adds that "Rosenstein said it was unnecessary and did not include such a reference," as the president said it verbally as he announced Comey's dismissal.

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Inside Trump's antifa tweet

President Trump at Cape Canaveral on May 30. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

As recently as Saturday night, senior administration officials told me that the designation of a violent cohort of far-left activists, antifa, as a terrorist organization was not being seriously discussed at the White House. But that was Saturday.

Behind the scenes: The situation changed dramatically a few hours later, after prominent conservative allies of the president, such as his friend media commentator Dan Bongino, publicly urged a tough response against people associated with antifa (short for "anti-fascist").

U.S. enters 6th day of nationwide protests over George Floyd's killing

A protest in Philadelphia on May 31. Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Protests continued across the country for the sixth day in a row on Sunday, as demonstrators called for justice in response to the deaths of George Floyd, EMT Breonna Taylor, jogger Ahmaud Arbery and countless other black Americans who have suffered at the hands of racism and police brutality.

What's happening: Protestors in D.C. broke one police barricade outside the White House on Sunday evening after reportedly demonstrating for several hours. The atmosphere was still largely peaceful as of 6pm ET.

Trump privately scolded, warned by allies

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Over the past couple of days, numerous advisers both inside and outside the White House have urged the president to tone down his violent rhetoric, which many worry could escalate racial tensions and hurt him politically.

Behind the scenes: The biggest source of internal concern was Trump's escalatory tweet, "when the looting starts, the shooting starts." Some advisers said it could damage him severely with independent voters and suburban women.