Mueller had near-universal support when he was selected as special counsel. Photo: Alex Wong / Getty

The rising partisan atmosphere around Bob Mueller's investigation is a sharp departure from the near-universal support that greeted his selection as special counsel in May — and threatens to shadow his investigation's eventual findings, the WashPost writes in its lead story.

Why it matters: "Among current and former law enforcement officials, the public attacks on the FBI are seen as an indirect way of trying to discredit Mueller and blunt future findings he may issue."

  • "Trump, while vowing to cooperate with the special counsel, has also encouraged attacks on Mueller's credibility, tweeting that the investigation is 'the greatest Witch Hunt in U.S. political history.'"
  • "The controversy, percolating for months, escalated dramatically in early December with the revelation of text messages in which one of Mueller's former top investigators, Peter Strzok, called Trump an 'idiot' last year."
  • Trump tweeted: "Report: 'ANTI-TRUMP FBI AGENT LED CLINTON EMAIL PROBE' Now it all starts to make sense!"
  • "Republicans in Congress took the cue, seizing upon the texts to attack the credibility of the FBI and the Mueller investigation."

Go deeper

Hunter Biden saga dominates online debate

Data: NewsWhip; Table: Axios Visuals

The mainstream media turned away. But online, President Trump's charges about Hunter Biden were by far the dominant storyline about the final presidential debate, according to exclusive NewsWhip data provided to Axios.

  • Coverage of business dealings by Joe Biden's son — and pre-debate allegations by one of his former business associates, Tony Bobulinski — garnered more than twice as much online activity (likes, comments, shares) as the runner-up.
Bryan Walsh, author of Future
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America's poor health is jeopardizing its future

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

From high levels of obesity and opioid addiction to inequities in access to care, America's pre-existing conditions make the country an easy target for COVID-19, as well as future pandemics that could cripple the United States for decades to come.

Why it matters: One of the best ways the country could prepare for future threats — and boost its economy — is to improve Americans' overall health.

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Fauci says if people won't wear masks, maybe it should be mandated

Anthony Fauci. Photo: Graeme Jennings- Pool/Getty Images

NIAID director Anthony Fauci told CNN on Friday evening that if "people are not wearing masks, then maybe we should be mandating it."

Why it matters: Fauci made the comments the same day the U.S. hit its highest daily COVID-19 case count since the pandemic began.

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