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Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

James Comey has an eye and memory for detail — color, curtains, wood — that infuses "A Higher Loyalty" (out Tuesday) with take-you-there accounts like this vivid take on President Trump and his FBI director in the Oval Office:

"Though this was not the first time I’d seen the new president, it was the first time I had seen him in his new office. He didn’t look comfortable. He was sitting, suit jacket on, close against the famous Reso­lute desk, both forearms on the desk."
  • "As a result, he was separated from everyone who spoke to him by a large block of wood."
  • "In dozens of meetings in that space with Presidents Bush and Obama, I cannot recall ever seeing them stationed at their desk. They instead sat in an armchair by the fireplace and held meetings in a more open, casual arrangement."
  • "That made sense to me. As hard as it is to get people to relax and open up with a president, the chances are much better in the sitting area, where we can pretend we are friends gathered around a coffee table. There, the president can try to be one of a group, and draw the others out to tell him the truth."
  • "But when the president sits on a throne, protected by a large wooden obstacle, as Trump routinely did in my interactions with him, the formality of the Oval Office is magnified and the chances of getting the full truth plummet."
  • "[S]itting at the desk once used by Presidents Kennedy and Reagan, he launched into one of his rapid-fire, stream-of-consciousness monologues."
  • "I had often wondered why, when given numerous opportunities to condemn the Russian government’s invasions of its neighbors and repression — even murder — of its own citizens, Trump refused to just state the plain facts."
  • "Maybe it was a contrarian streak or maybe it was something more complicated that explained his constant equivocation and apologies for Vladimir Putin."

Go deeper: Inside the "loyalty dinner"

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Go deeper

"Atmospheric river" swings Northern California from drought to flood

Satellite view of the bomb cyclone swirling off the coast of the Pacific Northwest and the atmospheric river affecting California on Oct. 24. Photo: CIRA/RAMMB

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are delivering historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest.

Why it matters: The atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, was causing Northern California to whiplash from drought to flood, as it slowly moved south overnight. It's triggered widespread power outages, flooding and mudslides.

Updated 1 hour ago - World

U.S. threatens to cut aid to Sudan after military takeover

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok during a 2020 news conference in Khartoum, Sudan. Photo: Mahmoud Hjaj/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Sudan's civilian Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok was put under house arrest and several other ministers were detained Monday in what appears to be a military coup in the country, per local reports.

The latest: The head of the military faction of the Sudanese government, Gen. Abdul Fattah al-Burhan, said in a statement that he is announcing a state of emergency, suspending several parts of the interim constitution and dissolving the civilian government and interim sovereignty council — the highest governing body in the country.

Facebook's pivotal week

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

They're battening down the hatches at Facebook headquarters this week as the company faces a trifecta of tumult: a continuing wave of negative press coverage fueled by document leaks, a critical earnings report Monday and a reported name change looming.

The big picture: All this is unfolding as Mark Zuckerberg tries to transform Facebook from a social network into the prime mover behind a new "metaverse" of VR- and AR-driven remote work and play.