Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (R) and U.S. State Department officials in Baghdad Tuesday. Photo: Mendel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made an abrupt trip to Baghdad on Tuesday amid escalating tensions with Iran and reported security threats involving U.S. presence in the region, the Washington Post reports.

Details: The State Department reportedly said the unscheduled visit was due to "pressing issues," and according to AP, Pompeo explained that his trip was meant to reaffirm U.S. support for "a sovereign, independent" Iraq, free from the interference of neighboring Tehran. Pompeo also met with Iraq’s president and prime minister.

  • The Trump administration claims Iran is planning to retaliate against the United States' stepped-up sanctions, but the AP noted that "threat information remains vague." U.S. national Security adviser John Bolton said on Sunday that the U.S. is deploying an aircraft carrier strike group and bomber task force to the Persian Gulf to send "a clear and unmistakable message."
  • Iranian officials pushed back on U.S. claims that new intelligence shows Iran is planning attacks against the U.S. and its allies in the Gulf.

Go deeper: Trump's next moves to tank the Iranian economy

Go deeper

Robert Mueller speaks out on Roger Stone commutation

Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller testifies before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on Capitol Hill on Wednesday July 24, 2019. Photo: The Washington Post / Contributor

Former special counsel Robert Mueller responded to claims from President Trump and his allies that Roger Stone was a "victim" in the Justice Department's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, writing in a Washington Post op-ed published Saturday: "He remains a convicted felon, and rightly so."

Why it matters: The rare public comments by Mueller come on the heels of President Trump's move to commute the sentence of his longtime associate, who was sentenced in February to 40 months in prison for crimes stemming from the Russia investigation. The controversial decision brought an abrupt end to the possibility of Stone spending time behind bars.

Trump dons face mask during Walter Reed visit

Trump wearing a face mask in Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on July 11. Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump wore a face mask during his Saturday visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, according to AP.

Why it matters: This is the first known occasion the president has appeared publicly with a facial covering as recommended by health officials since the coronavirus pandemic began, AP writes.

Updated 10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5:30 p.m. ET: 12,607,510 — Total deaths: 562,338 — Total recoveries — 6,948,863Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 5:30 p.m. ET: 3,228,884 — Total deaths: 134,600 — Total recoveries: 983,185 — Total tested: 38,919,421Map.
  3. Public health: Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter: "Please wear a mask to save lives" Fauci hasn't briefed Trump on the coronavirus pandemic in at least two months — We're losing the war on the coronavirus.
  4. Food: How the coronavirus pandemic boosted alternative meat.
  5. Sports: Charge of "money grab" by college football.
  6. World: India reimposes lockdowns as coronavirus cases soar.