Trump departs the White House for Florida. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

A fitting holiday send-off, as from the gaudy splendor of Mar-a-Lago, President Trump mean-tweets his own FBI:

  • The FBI's #2, Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, 49, after spending hours being questioned behind closed doors on Capitol Hill this week, told associates he plans to retire after he becomes eligible for his pension early next year. Trump hits "the man in charge, along with leakin' James Comey, of the Phony Hillary Clinton investigation."
  • And per the N.Y. Times: The president crowed ... that James A. Baker, the F.B.I. general counsel, who was seen as an ally of Mr. Comey's, would soon step down from that post, although he will remain at the bureau."
  • Former CIA Director John Brennan, a new tweeter: "Andy McCabe & Jim Baker epitomize integrity, competence, and respect for rule of law. ... I just donated to @FBIAgentsAssoc as a small way of saying #thanksFBI."

The N.Y. Times, in an immigration installment of its "Trump's Way" series, reports that at a tense June meeting in the Oval, the president grumbled that Haiti had sent 15,000 people who "all have AIDS." The Times says Trump added that 40,000 Nigerians, after tasting U.S. life, would never "go back to their huts" in Africa.

  • Sarah Sanders responds: "General Kelly, General McMaster, Secretary Tillerson, Secretary Nielsen, and all other senior staff actually in the meeting deny these outrageous claims and it's both sad and telling the New York Times would print the lies of their anonymous 'sources' anyway."
  • Breaking: "A federal judge in Seattle [yesterday] partially lifted a Trump administration ban on certain refugees after two groups argued that the policy prevented people from some mostly Muslim countries from reuniting with family living legally in the United States."
  • The presidential "challenge coin" doled out by commanders-in-chief for two decades "has undergone a Trumpian transformation," per the WashPost: The presidential seal has been replaced by an eagle with Trump's signature. "E pluribus unum" has fallen to "Make America Great Again."
  • Vice, launched with a "Cowboy Culture" that shamefully persisted, has paid at least $184,000 as part of "four settlements involving allegations of sexual harassment or defamation against Vice employees, including its current president," the N.Y. Times reports in a year-end opus that beats the Dec. 31 Pulitzer cutoff.In a statement posted in full by The Times, Vice Media says: "[T]he truth is inescapable: from the top down, we have failed as a company to create a safe and inclusive workplace where everyone, especially women, can feel respected and thrive."
  • "An uproar on social media helped political analyst Joan Walshland at CNN just a day after she was dropped as a contributor by MSNBC," per Variety. "Walsh supporters [including MSNBC's Chris Hayes and Joy Reid and Katie Couric] rallied in her defense using the hashtag #KeepJoanWalsh."
  • Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) tweet-stormed his annual #HappyFestivus #AiringofGrievances about government waste and idiocy.

"Bah! Humbug!"

Go deeper

Jeff Sessions loses Alabama Senate primary runoff

Jeff Sessions. Photo: Michael DeMocker/Getty Images

Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions has lost the Republican nomination for Senate to Tommy Tuberville in Alabama in Tuesday night’s primary runoff, AP reports.

Why it matters: Sessions had been the underdog in the race against former Auburn University head football coach Tommy Tuberville, who had the backing of President Trump. Tuberville will now face off against Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) in November, who is considered to have one of the most vulnerable Democratic Senate seats in the country.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 13,273,537 — Total deaths: 577,006 — Total recoveries — 7,367,106Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 3,424,304 — Total deaths: 136,432 — Total recoveries: 1,049,098 — Total tested: 41,764,557Map.
  3. Politics: Biden welcomes Trump wearing mask in public but warns "it’s not enough"
  4. Public health: Four former CDC heads say Trump's undermining of agency puts lives at risk — CDC director: U.S. could get coronavirus "under control" in 4–8 weeks if all wear masks.

Bank CEOs brace for worsening economic scenario

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon. Photo: J. Lawler Duggan/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

Wells Fargo swung to its first loss since the financial crisis — while JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup reported significantly lower profits from a year earlier — as the banks set aside billions of dollars more in the second quarter for loans that may go bad.

Why it matters: The cumulative $28 billion in loan loss provisions that banks have so far announced they’re reserving serves as a signal they’re preparing for a colossal wave of loan defaults as the economy slogs through a coronavirus-driven downturn.