Jun 14, 2018

What they're saying: How both sides are spinning the FBI report

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

The Department of Justice's inspector general released its report on the FBI's handling of the Hillary Clinton email probe before the 2016 election, criticizing James Comey, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page but finding no evidence that the FBI's investigation was compromised by political bias.

The big picture: The report manages to weave together some of the most polarizing political events of the last few years — and the spin has already begun on both sides of the political spectrum.

The FBI
  • Former FBI Director James Comey: "I respect the DOJ IG office, which is why I urged them to do this review. The conclusions are reasonable, even though I disagree with some. People of good faith can see an unprecedented situation differently. I pray no Director faces it again. Thanks to IG’s people for hard work." Comey also wrote an op-ed regarding the report for The New York Times.
  • Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, via his lawyer: "Although the OIG report exonerates Mr. McCabe of any charges of bias or improper influence, it erroneously assigns responsibility to him for the delay in pursuing potentially relevant emails on Anthony Weiner’s laptop in October 2016 ... [T]he FBI’s delay in searching the laptop was a systemic failure, not attributable to any one person."
Republicans
  • House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows: "The findings from Inspector General Horowitz are deeply disturbing and raise alarming questions about a Justice Department that should serve as a bedrock for America’s people... one can reach no other conclusion than the FBI sorely mishandled the investigation into Secretary Hillary Clinton."
  • Sen. Ron Johnson: "The Inspector General report shows real problems within the FBI and Justice Department... violations of FBI and DOJ policy, serious lapses in judgement, and questionable contacts with news reporters."
  • Sen. Orrin Hatch said the report confirmed "what I have long suspected — that there were serious errors in the FBI and Department of Justice's handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private server while Secretary of State."
Democrats
  • Reps. Jerry Nadler and Elijah Cummings directly accused Comey of helping Trump become president: "The stark conclusion we draw after reviewing this report is that the FBI’s actions helped Donald Trump become President. Director Comey had a double-standard:  he spoke publicly about the Clinton investigation while keeping secret from the American people the investigation of Donald Trump and Russia."
  • Sen. Chris Coons said he expects "President Trump to continue to claim that this report somehow taints Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation, but that simply does not match the facts."
  • Sen. Dick Durbin said that it was clear from the report that Comey and the FBI "failed to follow the rules, and in doing so, hurt Hillary Clinton’s campaign and helped Donald Trump’s." He added that there is no proof of conspiracy as the President has claimed "in a frenzy of tweets since taking office."

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 5,463,392 — Total deaths: 344,503 — Total recoveries — 2,195,325Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 1,653,904 — Total deaths: 97,948 — Total recoveries: 366,736 — Total tested: 14,163,915Map.
  3. World: Italy reports lowest number of new cases since February — Ireland reports no new coronavirus deaths on Monday for the first time since March 21 — WHO suspends trial of hydroxychloroquine over safety concerns.
  4. 2020: Trump threatens to move Republican convention from North Carolina — Joe Biden makes first public appearance in two months.
  5. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks over Memorial Day.
  6. Economy: New York stock exchange to reopen its floor on Tuesday — White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Charities refocus their efforts to fill gaps left by government.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Italy reports lowest number of new coronavirus cases since February

Italy’s aerobatic team Frecce Tricolori fly over Milan in Duomo Square on May 25. Photo: Francesco Prandoni/Getty Images

The Italian government reported 300 new cases of coronavirus on Monday, the lowest daily increase since Feb. 29.

Why it matters: Italy, the first country in Europe to implement a nationwide lockdown after emerging as a hotspot in March, appears to have finally weathered its coronavirus outbreak. Italy has reported nearly 33,000 total deaths, the third-highest total behind the U.S. and U.K.

Joe Biden makes first public appearance in over two months

Photo: Oliver Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden made his first in-person appearance in over two months on Monday to honor Memorial Day by laying a wreath at a Delaware veterans park, AP reports.

Why it matters: Biden, the Democratic Party's presumptive nominee, has taken the unprecedented step of campaigning from his home during the coronavirus pandemic, ever since canceling a rally in Cleveland on March 10.