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Carolyn Kaster / AP

When President Trump fired James Comey, Washington insiders immediately began speculating about the damage the former FBI director could inflict on Trump now that he's outside the tent.

Today, the first bomb dropped, and it's worse than some of the nightmare scenarios I was hearing friends of Trump speculate about over the weekend. According to the NYT, Trump urged Comey to shut down the federal investigation into Trump's former national security adviser, Mike Flynn. "I hope you can let this go," Trump said, according to a memo Comey wrote after their meeting.

There could be much more to come: Check out this insightful Slate podcast interview last week with the former FBI boss' longtime friend Benjamin Wittes. Stressing he had no inside knowledge of his friend's plans, Wittes predicted Comey would publicly tell his full story and probably in a congressional hearing.

"One of the problems that Trump created for himself in removing Jim Comey is that he dramatically increased the list of things that Jim Comey is now allowed to talk about."

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - Sports

The potential GOAT of chess faces intriguing challenger

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The World Chess Championship between Norway's Magnus Carlsen and Russia's Ian Nepomniachtchi began on Friday, 1,094 days after Carlsen won his fourth consecutive title.

Why it matters: During the long, COVID-fueled layoff, chess entered a new era, and with the championship finally here, the age-old game is ready for its close-up.

Department of Interior proposes raising cost of drilling on public lands

A horizontal drilling rig and a pump jack sit on federal land in Lea County, New Mexico. Photo: Callaghan O'Hare/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Oil and gas companies should pay more to drill on federal lands and waters, the Department of the Interior argued in a report released Friday, saying that the current rates were "outdated."

Driving the news: The Department of Interior report said that the federal government's oil and gas leasing and permitting program "fails to provide a fair return to taxpayers, even before factoring in the resulting climate-related costs that must be borne by taxpayers."

4 hours ago - Health

U.S. to restrict air travel from 8 countries over new COVID variant concerns

A COVID-19 vaccine is administered. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The U.S. will impose new air travel restrictions in response to the Omicron variant, a new COVID strain first detected in South Africa, President Biden announced Friday.

The big picture: Air travel from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi will be restricted starting on Monday.

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