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Photo: Michael Kovac/Getty Images

Former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe will join CNN as a contributor starting Friday — a move that quickly sparked conservative criticism, CNBC reports.

Background: President Trump publicly sparred with McCabe over his relationship with former FBI director James Comey. McCabe was fired in March 2018 by then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions for allegedly sharing details about the Russia investigation with the media and subsequently lying to investigators about it, says the Washington Post.

  • Along with the CNN announcement, McCabe is fighting his firing in court, alleging that his termination was part of Trump's plan to eliminate government employees who “were not politically loyal to him.” McCabe worked for the FBI for more than 2 decades.

What they're saying: Some conservative critics are now claiming CNN hired McCabe because the network dislikes Trump. The president has repeatedly disparaged the CNN as "fake news."

"Andrew McCabe was fired by the FBI for leaking to the media and lying to the FBI about it. I guess crime does pay."
— Matt Wolking, deputy director of communications for Trump's 2020 campaign, tweeted

The big picture: McCabe is one of many former officials making the move to broadcast media. CNN hired another former DOJ official, Sarah Isgur Flores, this February.

  • Meanwhile, Fox News announced on Thursday that former White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders would be coming on as a network contributor. The news drew similar reactions from the left, reflecting "perceptions of polarization and the alleged biases of the cable news networks," per the Washington Post.

Go deeper: Midterm losers and retired politicians sign on as political pundits

Go deeper

Biden administration makes first move on data privacy

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Biden administration is launching its first big effort on privacy policy by looking at how data privacy issues affect civil rights.

Why it matters: An administration perspective on privacy policy could be key in developing a long-awaited national privacy law by putting the White House stamp on how to regulate privacy.

Axios Investigates

Exclusive: Airbnb hosts Xinjiang rentals on land owned by sanctioned group

Data: Axios research, Airbnb, Australia Strategic Policy Institute's International Cyber Policy Centre; Map: Jacque Schrag/Axios

Airbnb has more than a dozen homes available for rent in China's Xinjiang region on land owned by an organization sanctioned by the U.S. government for complicity in genocide and forced labor, an Axios investigation has found.

Why it matters: The listings expose Airbnb to regulatory risk under U.S. law. They also land yet another American tech company in the crossfire between the U.S. and China.

For CEOs, social media has lost its fun

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

CEO Jack Dorsey's departure from Twitter shows that, in Silicon Valley today, social media is becoming a field to flee.

Why it matters: Coming on the heels of Facebook's name change and new metaverse focus, Dorsey's resignation is another sign that the industry now views the massive social networks it built over the last two decades as buggy "legacy applications" mired in annoying social problems.