Attorney general nominee William Barr. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Attorney general nominee William Barr said Tuesday in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee that he believes Special Counsel Robert Mueller is not purposely targeting President Trump and his administration, despite what the president has claimed.

Background: Barr, who drafted a memo last year criticizing Mueller's investigation, said he is going to make as much information from the special counsel public as possible.

On protecting the Mueller probe: "The scope of the special counsel's investigation is set by his charter and by the regulations, and I will ensure that those are maintained," Barr said.

  • Barr said he thought former Attorney General Jeff Sessions was right to recuse himself from overseeing the Mueller investigation.
  • Barr said he wouldn't recuse himself from a DOJ investigation if he disagreed with ethics officials' recommendation that he recuse.

On Trump and Mueller: "If a president attempts to intervene in a [Justice Department] matter that he has a stake in to protect himself, that should first be looked at as a breach of his constitutional duties."

  • Asked whether he would fire Mueller if Trump asked him to, Barr said: "Assuming there was no good cause ... I would not carry out that instruction."
  • "President Trump has sought no assurances, promises or commitments from me of any kind, either express or implied, and I have not given him any, other than that I would run the department with professionalism and integrity."

On the 2016 election: "I believe the Russians interfered or attempted to interfere with the election, and I think we have to get to the bottom of it."

On reporters going to jail: Asked whether DOJ would ever jail reporters for doing their job, Barr said: "I can conceive of situations where, as a last resort, where a news organization [knows] they're putting out stuff that will hurt the country...there could be a situation where someone could be held in contempt."

On immigration: Barr said he thought a wall would address concerns about drugs coming into the U.S., but conceded after being pressed that he knew most drugs come through official ports of entry.

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Updated 46 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 12,794,395 — Total deaths: 566,210 — Total recoveries — 7,033,187Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 3,278,946 — Total deaths: 135,066 — Total recoveries: 995,576 — Total tested: 39,553,395Map.
  3. States: Florida smashes single-day record for new coronavirus cases with over 15,000 — Miami-Dade mayor says "it won't be long" until county's hospitals reach capacity.
  4. Public health: Ex-FDA chief projects "apex" of South's coronavirus curve in 2-3 weeks — Coronavirus testing czar: Lockdowns in hotspots "should be on the table"
  5. Education: Betsy DeVos says schools that don't reopen shouldn't get federal funds — Pelosi accuses Trump of "messing with the health of our children."

Lindsey Graham says he will ask Mueller to testify before Senate

Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) tweeted Sunday that he will grant Democrats' request to call former special counsel Robert Mueller to testify before his committee.

The big picture: The announcement comes on the heels of Mueller publishing an op-ed in the Washington Post that defended the Russia investigation and conviction of Roger Stone, whose sentence was commuted by President Trump on Friday.

4 hours ago - Health

Florida smashes single-day record for new coronavirus cases

Data: Covid Tracking Project; Chart: Axios Visuals

Florida reported 15,299 confirmed coronavirus cases on Sunday — a new single-day record for any state, according to its health department.

The big picture: The figure shatters both Florida's previous record of 11,458 new cases and the single-state record of 11,694 set by California last week, according to AP. It also surpasses New York's daily peak of 11,571 new cases in April, and comes just a day after Disney World reopened in Orlando.