May 11, 2017

Ex-Congressman Mike Rogers could be FBI Director

J. Scott Applewhite

Trump is mulling whether to tap Mike Rogers, a former FBI agent who served as chair on the Intelligence Committee, to step in to serve as FBI Director in Comey's wake, Bloomberg reports and a source with direct knowledge confirmed to Axios. After serving seven terms, Rogers retired from Congress two years ago to pursue talk radio, but you may remember him for his report on the 2012 Benghazi attack.

The Trump connection: Rogers used to advise the Trump transition team on national security issues, which Dems could use against him, arguing it would cloud his investigation of Russia's interference in the election if selected as FBI director. Rogers was asked to leave Trump's transition team around the same time Chris Christie was booted as head of the transition.

Rogers isn't afraid to break from party line: Republicans were not happy with his Benghazi report. Rogers told NPR: "They all...are upset that it didn't find what they wanted to find. And, to me, that tells me I probably got the investigation just about right."

Rogers is a Russia hawk: He's part of the IRI Beacon Project to expose Russian propaganda efforts and is supportive of the Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act and would likely ramp up the Russia probe. Just this week on a GWU panel, Rogers said:

  • Russians have "gotten high marks for their ability to sow discontent"
  • "Russia used 'internet trolls' and AI bots to spread false stories"
  • "We need to arm ourselves with information"
  • But it's unclear what Rogers would do at the helm of the Russia probe: "The president's ability to get things done is hindered because we are arguing about Russia's role in the election"

Here a list of 7 others who could replace Comey.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7:30 p.m. ET: 1,270,069 — Total deaths: 69,309 — Total recoveries: 259,810Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7:30 p.m. ET: 335,524 — Total deaths: 9,562 — Total recoveries: 17,266Map.
  3. Federal government latest: Surgeon general says this week will be "our Pearl Harbor, our 9/11 moment." The USDA confirms that a Bronx zoo tiger tested positive for coronavirus.
  4. 2020 latest: "We have no contingency plan," Trump said on the 2020 Republican National Convention. Biden says DNC may have to hold virtual convention.
  5. States updates: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state is "literally going day-to-day" with supplies.
  6. World update: Queen Elizabeth II urges the British people to confront pandemic with "self-discipline" and "resolve" in rare televised address.
  7. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal health. Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Scoop: Inside the epic White House fight over hydroxychloroquine

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The White House coronavirus task force had its biggest fight yet on Saturday, pitting economic adviser Peter Navarro against infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci. At issue: How enthusiastically should the White House tout the prospects of an antimalarial drug to fight COVID-19?

Behind the scenes: This drama erupted into an epic Situation Room showdown. Trump's coronavirus task force gathered in the White House Situation Room on Saturday at about 1:30pm, according to four sources familiar with the conversation. Vice President Mike Pence sat at the head of the table.

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How the coronavirus could shield Trump's tax returns

The Supreme Court canceled all oral arguments through early April due to COVID-19. Photo: Ting Shen/Xinhua via Getty Images

Here's an under-the-radar side effect of the coronavirus pandemic: It might spare President Trump from having to release his tax returns before the election.

Why it matters: The Supreme Court was supposed to hear arguments last month over whether House Democrats had the legal authority to subpoena Trump's financial records.