Jan 13, 2019

Pompeo: It's "ludicrous" to suggest Trump is a threat to U.S. security

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called the idea that President Trump is a threat to American national security "absolutely ludicrous" and "silly on its face" on CBS' "Face the Nation" Sunday after the New York Times reported that the FBI had opened an investigation into whether the president could be working for Russian interests in 2017.

Background: The FBI investigation was reportedly triggered by Trump's decision to fire FBI Director James Comey, and the White House echoed Pompeo's derision of the report, calling it "absurd." The NYT bombshell was followed by a report from the Washington Post on Saturday that Trump sought to hide details of his conversations with Russian President Vladimir Putin from his own administration officials.

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Oil faces tough road back from coronavirus

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Oil companies in the battered shale patch are starting to bring back some production as prices climb, but a new report underscores how the pandemic is taking a heavy financial toll despite signs of revival.

Driving the news: Fourteen North American producers have filed for bankruptcy thus far during the second quarter, per a tally from the law firm Haynes and Boone, which closely tracks the sector's finances.

1.9 million Americans filed for unemployment last week

Data: U.S. Employment and Training Administration via FRED; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Another 1.9 million people filed for unemployment last week, the Department of Labor said on Thursday.

The big picture: The coronavirus pandemic is still putting a historic strain on the labor market, though the pace of unemployment applications continues to slow.

The risk asset rally continues as stock market rebounds

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Risk assets have jumped over the past week and continued their rally on Wednesday, with the S&P 500 gaining for a fourth straight day and posting its highest close since March 4, while the Nasdaq ended the day just 1.4% below its all-time high.

What it means: If it hadn't been evident before, Wednesday's market action made clear that the bulls are back in charge.