May 1, 2019

Comey on Trump influencing Bill Barr: "He has eaten your soul"

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Former FBI Director James Comey addressed what happened in the aftermath of the Mueller report in a New York Times op-ed on Wednesday, the same day that Attorney General William Barr testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee, arguing that "amoral leaders have a way of revealing the character of those around them."

The big picture: Comey referenced Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein's actions surrounding the report, asking "What happened to these people?" He describes Barr as "a bright and accomplished lawyer," immediately followed by concern that Barr has been "channeling the president in using words like 'no collusion.'" Some of the questions Comey covers in the opinion piece he has also publicly pondered on social media.

What Comey's saying:

"How could Mr. Barr go before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday and downplay President Trump's attempt to fire Mr. Mueller before he completed his work?"
"And how could Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, after the release of Mr. Mueller's report that detailed Mr. Trump's determined efforts to obstruct justice, give a speech quoting the president on the importance of the rule of law?"
"...You use his language, praise his leadership, tout his commitment to values. And then you are lost. He has eaten your soul."

Go deeper: James Comey slams decision not to charge Trump with obstruction

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Bernie Sanders wins Nevada caucus

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders waves to supporters at a campaign rally on Friday in Las Vegas. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders is projected to handily win the Nevada Democratic primary caucus, becoming the clear frontrunner among 2020 Democratic presidential primary election candidates.

Why it matters: Nevada is the first state with a diverse population to hold a nominating contest, highlighting candidates' abilities to connect with voters of color — particularly Latino voters.

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South Korea and Italy see spikes in coronavirus cases

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus has spread to more nations, and the U.S. reports a doubling of its confirmed cases to 34 — while noting these are mostly due to repatriated citizens, emphasizing there's no "community spread" yet in the United States.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 2,362 people and infected more than 77,000 others, mostly in mainland China. New countries to announce infections recently include Israel and Lebanon, while Iran reported its sixth death from the virus. South Korea's confirmed cases jumped from 204 Friday to 433 on Saturday and Italy's case count rose from 3 to 62 by Saturday.

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America's rundown roads add to farmers' struggles

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

American farmers are struggling to safely use the roads that cut through their fields; decades of neglect and lack of funding have made the routes dangerous.

The big picture: President Trump has long promised to invest billions in rural infrastructure, and his latest proposal would allocate $1 trillion for such projects. Rural America, where many of Trump's supporters live, would see a large chunk of that money.