Jun 23, 2017

Comey version of firing more trusted than Trump's

Steven Senne / AP; Alex Brandon / AP

Two times as many Americans believe former FBI Director James Comey's version of events surrounding his firing than President Trump's, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

  • By the numbers: 45% of Americans believe Comey while 22% believe Trump. The partisan breakdown is just as stark as you'd expect with Democrats preferring Comey's version of events by a 76-2 margin and Republicans siding with Trump 50-10. Independents preferred Comey's story 47-17.
  • A head scratcher: 8% of Americans say that they believe both — so different that they prompted the hiring of Bob Mueller as special counsel for the Russia investigation — versions of events.
  • Speaking of Russia: The poll also found that Americans believe that Russia interfered in the 2016 election by a 53-36 margin — with the results predictably skewed along the same partisan lines as the Comey/Trump question.

Go deeper

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.

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 continues to spread to more nations, and the U.S. reports a doubling of its confirmed cases to 34 — while noting those are mostly due to repatriated citizens, emphasizing there's no "community spread" yet in the U.S. South Korea's confirmed cases jumped from 204 on Friday to 433 on Saturday, while Italy's case count rose from 3 to 62 as of Saturday.

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, Lebanon and Iran.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Health

Centrist Democrats beseech 2020 candidates: "Stand up to Bernie" or Trump wins

Bernie Sanders rallies in Las Vegas, Nevada on Feb. 21. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Center-left think tank Third Way urgently called on the Democratic front-runners of the 2020 presidential election to challenge Sen. Bernie Sanders on the South Carolina debate stage on Feb. 25, in a memo provided to Axios' Mike Allen on Saturday.

What they're saying: "At the Las Vegas debate ... you declined to really challenge Senator Sanders. If you repeat this strategy at the South Carolina debate this week, you could hand the nomination to Sanders, likely dooming the Democratic Party — and the nation — to Trump and sweeping down-ballot Republican victories in November."