May 18, 2017

McCaskill: Rosenstein knew Comey was out before memo

Jeff Roberson / AP

After emerging from an all-Senate briefing from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, Senator Claire McCaskill told reporters Rosenstein "knew Comey was going to be removed prior to writing the memo."

Why it matters: The White House originally said Rosenstein's memo recommending Comey be fired was what convinced Trump to make the move. Trump has since said the decision was his alone, but this indicates that everyone from Sean Spicer to Mike Pence was either misinformed, or intentionally misleading.

Nature of investigation: Senator Lindsey Graham: "It was a counter intel investigation before, now it seems to me now to be a criminal investigation."

  • Richard Blumenthal confirmed, "Mueller is doing a criminal investigation of criminal allegations...including possible obstruction of justice," and when asked if Trump himself was under criminal investigation said "no."

Go deeper

3 hours ago - Technology

The slippery slope of protest surveillance

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump's call to treat antifa supporters like terrorists could be a green light for high-tech surveillance of dissidents.

Why it matters: It's unlikely the Trump administration can designate antifa as a terrorist group in any legally meaningful way, but the declaration gives law enforcement tacit approval to use a plethora of tech tools to monitor protesters and left-leaning activists.

The biggest crisis since 1968

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Bettmann/Contributor

The year 1968 has been on a lot of people’s minds lately — another year of protests, violence and upheaval that seemed to be tearing the nation apart.

Yes, but: This crisis also has moments we’ve never seen before — and some historians and experts say the differences suggest that 2020 doesn't compare well at all.

SoftBank to launch $100M fund backing companies led by people of color

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

SoftBank COO Marcelo Claure said in a letter to employees early Wednesday that the firm will create a $100 million fund that "will only invest in companies led by founders and entrepreneurs of color."

Why it matters: The Opportunity Growth Fund is one of the first to put significant capital behind companies' statements of empathy and outrage in response to protests over systemic racism in the U.S. typified by the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and other African Americans by police.