May 19, 2017

Issa on Trump witch hunt: "I don't believe in witches"

Alex Brandon / AP

When asked whether he believes the appointment of a special prosecutor was part of a witch hunt targeting President Trump, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) told reporters, "I don't believe in witches," adding that he wasn't surprised Trump was angry. "It's going to turn over a lot more rocks than the executive branch wants," said Issa.

  • Comey memos: "I don't believe in any way that anyone directed him [to write them]... it's suspicious when lawyer's don't write memos."
  • Comey firing timeline "will be reviewable," said Issa, who said Comey "ill-served the American people" and "loved the camera."
  • On Joe Lieberman: "As everyone here knows, he's solid, he's probably a little bored in private life... his experience and his independence is pretty legendary, so I'm a Lieberman fan and wouldn't look at a second candidate."

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Coronavirus cases rise, as more Americans on cruise confirmed ill

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's NHC; Note: China refers to mainland China and the Diamond Princess is the cruise ship offshore Yokohama, Japan. Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

A U.S. public health official confirms more than 40 Americans on the Diamond Princess cruise ship off Japan have coronavirus, while the remaining U.S. citizens without symptoms are being evacuated.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 1,770 people and infected almost 70,000 others. Most cases and all but five of the deaths have occurred in mainland China. Taiwan confirmed its first death on Sunday, per multiple reports, in a 61-year-old man with underlying health conditions. Health officials were investigating how he became ill.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health

Scoop: Inside the Trump campaign's big hedge on Facebook

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The Trump campaign has invested most of its advertising budget to date on Facebook, testing thousands of versions of ads per day to maximize its spending.

But behind the scenes, a source familiar with the campaign tells Axios, the thinking has shifted: "As everyone can see, we still have strong spending on Facebook, but the percentage of our total media budget [on Facebook] is shrinking."

Trump's revenge tour has the House in its sights

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Saul Loeb/Getty Contributor

In the lead-up to the 2018 midterm elections — buoyed by Republican control of both chambers — President Trump viewed campaigning for the House as a lower-tier priority and instead poured his energy into rallying for the Senate.

But after the GOP reckoning in 2018, and experiencing firsthand how damaging a Democratic-led House has been to him, Trump is now personally invested in helping Republicans regain the majority in November, several people familiar with his thinking tell Axios.