Jan 23, 2018

The backstory on Trump's FBI director threatening to resign

Photo: Olivier Douliery, Pool / Getty Images

President Trump said Tuesday that FBI Director Christopher Wray did not threaten to resign — "he didn't even a little bit" — following our report last night that Wray threatened to resign if Attorney General Jeff Sessions kept pressuring him to move Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, and others, out of their jobs.

Between the lines: Axios stands by its reporting. Trump was not involved in any of the conversations with Wray, and we never reported that he was.

The conversations were between Wray and Sessions, over several months. Trump applied public pressure and Sessions applied private pressure. When we gave the FBI and Justice Department full visibility of our story before publishing, neither agency took issue with our characterization of the Wray-Sessions conversations or of Wray's threat to resign. Even now, nearly 24 hours after publishing, neither Justice nor the FBI has gone on the record to deny that fact.

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Scoop: Inside the Trump campaign's big hedge on Facebook

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The Trump campaign has invested most of its advertising budget to date on Facebook, testing thousands of versions of ads per day to maximize its spending.

But behind the scenes, a source familiar with the campaign tells Axios, the thinking has shifted: "As everyone can see, we still have strong spending on Facebook, but the percentage of our total media budget [on Facebook] is shrinking."

Trump's revenge tour has the House in its sights

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Saul Loeb/Getty Contributor

In the lead-up to the 2018 midterm elections — buoyed by Republican control of both chambers — President Trump viewed campaigning for the House as a lower-tier priority and instead poured his energy into rallying for the Senate.

But after the GOP reckoning in 2018, and experiencing firsthand how damaging a Democratic-led House has been to him, Trump is now personally invested in helping Republicans regain the majority in November, several people familiar with his thinking tell Axios.

Pelosi warns U.S. allies against working with China's Huawei

Nancy Pelosi, Feb. 16. Photo: Sven Hoppe/picture alliance via Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday cautioned U.S. allies against allowing Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei to develop their 5G networks, arguing at the Munich Security Conference that doing so is akin to “choosing autocracy over democracy," CNBC reports.

Why it matters: Pelosi's hawkish stance marks a rare area of agreement with the Trump administration, which believes Huawei is a national security threat because the Chinese government may be capable of accessing its equipment for espionage.

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