May 31, 2018

Mueller's Russia probe has cost $17 million to date

Then-FBI Director Robert Mueller testifies during a hearing. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The special counsel's investigation into potential Russian interference in the 2016 election has cost nearly $17 million to date, since Robert Mueller was appointed to lead the probe in May of last year, according to new spending report released Thursday by the Justice Department.

By the numbers: $10 million was spent on expenses incurred between October 2017 through March of this year, detailing that $2.7 million was expended for salaries and benefits, $532,340 was expended for travel, and $264,114 was expended for contractual services. The department had previously said $6.7 million was used between May and September of last year. Mueller’s office told Politico in a statement that its spending was "within the approved budget."

The backdrop: The price tag is expected to infuriate President Trump and Republicans who have repeatedly railed against the wide-ranging probe. Trump had lashed out on twitter last May, saying "The Russia-Trump collusion story is a total hoax, when will this taxpayer funded charade end?"

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JPMorgan Chase to pull support for some fossil fuels

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

JPMorgan Chase said Monday that it won’t directly finance new oil and gas development in the Arctic and will significantly curtail its financing of the extraction and burning of coal.

Why it matters: JPMorgan is the world’s largest funder of fossil-fuel companies, according to a report by the Rainforest Action Network (RAN). The announcement follows similar moves by other big banks and investment firms, including Goldman Sachs and BlackRock.

WHO won't call coronavirus a pandemic as cases spread

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The World Health Organization will not yet call the coronavirus a pandemic, claiming that needs across affected countries are too varied and the classification would increase fear, per a briefing Monday.

The big picture: As South Korea and Italy stepped up emergency measures in efforts to thwart the spread of the virus, WHO expressed concern about infections with no clear link to China. COVID-19 has killed at least 2,620 people and infected almost 80,000 others, with all but 27 deaths occurring in mainland China.

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