Oct 22, 2017

McCain is relishing his role as chief Trump critic

Photo: Charles Dharapak / AP

Sen. John McCain tweeted out a New York Times story Sunday morning, in which he was labeled the "unfettered voice against Trumpism."

"I'm doing what I think is right for the country," McCain is quoted as saying in the Times story. "I don't work for Donald Trump, and I don't work for his administration."

Why it matters: McCain and Trump have butted heads since the 2016 campaign, during which Trump said he likes "people who weren't captured," referring to McCain’s five years spent as a POW. McCain, in recent months, has been biting back both through his rhetoric and by helping to thwart the president's agenda.

More examples:

  • His famous thumbs-down vote on the "skinny repeal" of the Affodable Care Act this summer.
  • His opposition to the Graham-Cassidy health care bill.
  • His Liberty Medal acceptance speech at the National Constitution Center, in which he said: "To refuse the obligations of international leadership...for the sake of some half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems is as unpatriotic as an attachment to any other tired dogma of the past that Americans consigned to the ash heap of history." Trump took it personally, according to the Times.
  • His criticism of the administration for not yet setting out a "plan for success" in Afghanistan, saying "Congress & the American people deserve better."
  • His 60 Minutes interview, in which he said Trump "changes his statements almost on a daily basis. So for me to spend my time trying to analyze what he says, I don't know." McCain also said while he was raised to believe in honor, Trump was raised differently.
  • His comments that the Trump administration wasn't being forthcoming on the four American soldiers killed in Niger earlier this month and that getting the information he needs may require a subpoena.

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U.S. coronavirus updates: Death toll passes 9,600

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Recorded deaths from the novel coronavirus surpassed 9,600 in the U.S. Sunday night, per Johns Hopkins data. The death toll in the U.S. has risen over 1,000 every day since April 1.

Why it matters: U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said on Sunday this upcoming week will be "the hardest and saddest week of most Americans' lives" — calling it our "our Pearl Harbor, our 9/11 moment."

Go deeperArrowUpdated 8 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10:30 p.m. ET: 1,273,990 — Total deaths: 69,444 — Total recoveries: 260,247Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10:30 p.m. ET: 337,310 — Total deaths: 9,634 — Total recoveries: 17,461Map.
  3. Federal government latest: Surgeon general says this week will be "our Pearl Harbor, our 9/11 moment." The USDA confirms that a Bronx zoo tiger tested positive for coronavirus.
  4. 2020 latest: "We have no contingency plan," Trump said on the 2020 Republican National Convention. Biden says DNC may have to hold virtual convention.
  5. States updates: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state is "literally going day-to-day" with supplies.
  6. World update: Queen Elizabeth II urges the British people to confront pandemic with "self-discipline" and "resolve" in rare televised address.
  7. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal health. Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Intelligence community watchdog suggests Trump fired him for doing his job

Michael Atkinson, Inspector General of the Intelligence Community,at the Capitol in October. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson suggested in a statement Sunday President Trump fired him for acting impartially in carrying out his duties following a whistleblower complaint.

Why it matters: Atkinson alerted Congress last September to the complaint on Trump's correspondence with Ukraine's president, triggering an inquiry that resulted in the Trump's impeachment.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy