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President Trump arrives yesterday with First Lady Melania Trump and Vice President Pence at the funeral of the Rev. Billy Graham in Charlotte, N.C. Photo: Jim Watson / AFP / Getty Images

There's a contagion of Washington coverage that isn't worthy of your time. The stories sound dramatic but tell you little, if anything.

Be smart: Jonathan Swan emails me: "The very important collective impact of this reporting is that it could make Trump more angry than ever about the probe."

See if you can spot the pattern:

  • "Source: Mueller looking into what Hicks knows." (CNN)
  • "Mueller asking if Trump knew about hacked Democratic emails before release." (NBC)
  • "Mueller asking about Trump's Russia business deals and Miss Universe pageant." (Newsweek)
  • "Mueller team asks about Trump's Russian business dealings as he weighed a run for president." (CNN)
  • "Mueller looking at Ivanka Trump's interaction with Russian lawyer at Trump Tower." (The Hill)

Why it doesn't matter: All we know is what yappy witnesses tell reporters they were asked about.

  • News flash: Mueller is looking at everything.
  • That's his job. When he was named, he was empowered/instructed to look into the "FBI investigation of Russian government efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election and related matters." That there is a broad mandate.
  • This gives us literally zero insight into what the special counsel is actually doing and thinking.
  • These kernels aren't from Mueller's office: We've seen time and again (and again) that his office is one of Washington's few leak-free zones.
  • Yes, it looks bad. Based on conversations with White House insiders, I can tell you they're more bearish than ever about the outcome. But we're all guessing.

The bottom line: Here's one headline that's true: "Expect more ‘surprises’ from Mueller probe, former crusading prosecutor says."

  • And expect plenty more "scoops" about what Mueller is asking gabby witnesses.
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Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Bomb cyclone prompts blizzard warnings from Virginia to Maine

Computer model projection showing the intense storm off of Cape Cod on Jan 29, 2022, with heavy snow and strong winds lashing the coastline. (Weatherbell.com)

Blizzard warnings are in effect for 11 million people from coastal Virginia to eastern Maine as a historic winter storm is set to slam the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast beginning Friday.

Why it matters: The storm will bring hazards ranging from zero visibility amid hurricane force wind gusts and heavy snow, to coastal flooding that will erode vulnerable beaches and threaten property from the Jersey shore to coastal Massachusetts.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Contact tracing fizzles across America — New clues emerge on long COVID — Omicron is finally burning out — It's very difficult to get access to antiviral COVID treatments — Axios-Ipsos poll: Omicron's big numbersAnother wave of death — FDA limits use of Regeneron and Lilly antibody treatments.
  2. Vaccines: Pfizer begins clinical trial for Omicron-specific vaccine — The shifting definition of fully vaccinated.
  3. Politics: Virginia AG says public colleges can't mandate COVID vaccines —Alaska governor joins Texas lawsuit over National Guard vaccine mandate — Navy discharges 45 sailors for refusing vaccine — Spotify to remove Neil Young's music after his Joe Rogan ultimatum — White House: 60M households have ordered free COVID-19 rapid tests.
  4. World: U.K. to lift travel testing requirement for fully vaccinated — Beijing Olympic Committee lowers testing threshold ahead of Games.
  5. Variant tracker
6 hours ago - World

Biden will move U.S. troops to Eastern Europe "in the near term"

President Biden boards Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews on Jan. 28. Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said on Friday he plans to move U.S. troops to Eastern European and NATO countries “in the near term.”

Driving the news: “Not too many” U.S. troops, Biden added in remarks to reporters at Joint Base Andrew upon returning from a trip to Pennsylvania.