John Boehner said told NBC's Savannah Guthrie on Friday that if he was still Speaker of the House, he would call President Trump and tell him that firing Special Counsel Robert Mueller or Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is a "very bad idea."

Interview highlights:

  • Boehner also thinks the Russia investigation "absolutely" must continue: "I think it’s really important that the American people understand what were the Russians up to and what were the campaigns doing talking to the Russians."
  • He wasn't surprised by Paul Ryan's retirement announcement: "I’ve known him a long time. He’s a really really decent, good guy, but he never wanted to be speaker. I had to beat him to death to take my job. Tax reform was his issue … so when it was finished I pretty much well knew he probably would move on."
  • On who will take control of the House: "Frankly, it’s a 50/50 proposition."
  • James Comey's forthcoming book: "He’s entitled to his opinion. He’s laying out facts as he sees them … All the facts will show up sooner or later and we’ll know exactly what happened and what didn’t happen."
  • Trump firing Comey: "I’ve known Jim Comey, he’s a good guy, good public servant but clearly the President had his issues with him and so the President has a right to get rid of people and he did."

Go deeper

Boeing's one-two punch

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The grounding of Boeing’s 737 MAX was the worst crisis in the plane-maker’s century-long history. At least until the global pandemic hit.

Why it matters: Wall Street expects it will be cleared to fly again before year-end. Orders for what was once the company’s biggest moneymaker were expected to rebound after the ungrounding, but now the unprecedented slump in travel will dash airlines’ appetite for the MAX and any other new planes, analysts say — putting more pressure on the hard-hit company.

New downloads of TikTok, WeChat to be blocked in U.S. on Sunday

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Commerce Department issued Friday an order blocking new downloads of WeChat and TikTok in the U.S. as of Sept. 20.

The state of play: President Trump has been in a standoff with TikTok, threatening to ban the app if it's Chinese owner, ByteDance, does not relinquish control to a U.S. company. A deal is in the works with the American tech company Oracle, but would need to go through before Sunday to prevent TikTok from being ousted from app stores.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 6:30 a.m. ET: 30,199,007 — Total deaths: 946,490— Total recoveries: 20,544, 967Map
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 6:30 a.m. ET: 6,675,593 — Total deaths: 197,644 — Total recoveries: 2,540,334 — Total tests: 90,710,730Map
  3. Politics: Former Pence aide says she plans to vote for Joe Biden, accusing Trump of costing lives in his coronavirus response.
  4. Health: Pew: 49% of Americans wouldn't get COVID-19 vaccine if available today Pandemic may cause cancer uptick The risks of moving too fast on a vaccine — COVID-19 racial disparities extend to health coverage losses.
  5. Business: Retail sales return to pre-coronavirus trend.