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James Comey. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

In a Tuesday interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour, former FBI Director James Comey conceded that his decision to announce in October 2016 that the FBI was reopening an investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server may have helped Trump win the election, but defended it as "the least terrible option."

Amanpour: "Do you ever think that you might be responsible for the election of President Trump? Does that keep you up at night?"
Comey: "Sure. And I hope someday somebody proves that we were irrelevant. ... I hope we had no impact. I hope it's proven that it was irrelevant. But all it does is increase the pain. It doesn't change how I think about the decision. My view and the view of my team was: I cannot conceal from the American people that the investigation we told them, and fought to tell them, is done, is done, is done — is not done, and the result could change."

What else: Comey also said Attorney General William Barr "deserves the benefit of the doubt" with respect to redacting certain parts of the Mueller report before releasing it. "Give him a chance to show us what he feels like he can't show us," Comey said during the interview.

  • Last week, Comey pushed back against Barr's decision not to pursue obstruction charges against Trump. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has indicated that he plans to question Comey in a new probe of the FBI's decision to open an investigation into Trump.

Go deeper: Comey calls Mueller's position on Trump obstruction charges "confusing"

Go deeper

Tech scrambles to derail inauguration threats

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Tech companies are sharing more information with law enforcement in a frantic effort to prevent violence around the inauguration, after the government was caught flat-footed by the Capitol siege.

Between the lines: Tech knows it will be held accountable for any further violence that turns out to have been planned online if it doesn't act to stop it.

Dave Lawler, author of World
57 mins ago - World

Uganda's election: Museveni declared winner, Wine claims fraud

Wine rejected the official results of the election. Photo: Sumy Sadruni/AFP via Getty

Yoweri Museveni was declared the winner of a sixth presidential term on Saturday, with official results giving him 59% to 35% for Bobi Wine, the singer-turned-opposition leader.

Why it matters: This announcement was predictable, as the election was neither free nor fair and Museveni had no intention of surrendering power after 35 years. But Wine — who posed a strong challenged to Museveni, particularly in urban areas, and was beaten and arrested during the campaign — has said he will present evidence of fraud. The big question is whether he will mobilize mass resistance in the streets.

Off the Rails

Episode 1: A premeditated lie lit the fire

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 1: Trump’s refusal to believe the election results was premeditated. He had heard about the “red mirage” — the likelihood that early vote counts would tip more Republican than the final tallies — and he decided to exploit it.

"Jared, you call the Murdochs! Jason, you call Sammon and Hemmer!”