Good Thursday morning.
Breaking ... Former President George W. Bush said today in Abu Dhabi, per AP: “There’s pretty clear evidence that the Russians meddled [in the 2016 election]. Whether they affected the outcome is another question.”
Senior White House officials are in a state of shock, and facing huge questions about their handling of the crisis, over the resignation of Staff Secretary Rob Porter after his two former wives went on the record to allege physical abuse:
Be smart: The West Wing couldn’t have handled it worse, including over-the-top statements of support for Porter before all the facts had come out.
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser / Axios
Increased polarization is helping drive a collapse of trust in the media and government as institutions, Axios' Kim Hart and Sara Fischer write after moderating an Axios Expert Voices conversation in D.C. yesterday:
James Comey, the fired FBI director who has slyly used Twitter to build his voice as a moral counterweight to revelations in the Russia investigation, is moving up the publication date for "A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership" by two weeks, to April 17.
A snowboarder trains during previews of the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games, at Phoenix Snow Park in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea.
"House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi commandeered the House floor ... for a day-into-night marathon plea to Republicans for action on immigration, casting the fate of young undocumented immigrants in moral terms," per the WashPost:
P.S. No shutdown ... "The Republican-led Congress is set to vote [today] on a two-year budget deal [with] massive increases in military and domestic spending programs, reflecting an ideological shift for a party whose leaders long preached fiscal conservatism but have now embraced big spending." (WashPost)
“I think confidence is silent and insecurity is loud. America is the most powerful country in all of human history, everybody knows it, and we don’t need to show it off.”— Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), on President Trump’s desire to hold a military parade in Washington. (N.Y. Times)
Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), vice chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said at a daylong conference on Capitol Hill that concerns about tech’s addictive qualities can be addressed through “a collaborative effort with the companies."
Be smart: Warner's comments reflect the fact that unlike in Europe, which is aggressively fining and working to further regulate Big Tech, Washington's confrontation so far is mainly rhetorical.
P.S. Jim Carrey, star of "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective" and "The Mask," tweets: "I’m dumping my @facebook stock and deleting my page because @facebook profited from Russian interference in our elections and they’re still not doing enough to stop it. I encourage all other investors who care about our future to do the same."
"First, massacres, rapes and the wholesale destruction of villages by the Myanmar military... forced nearly 700,000 Rohingya Muslims to flee to Bangladesh ... Now, the food supply appears to be another weapon that’s being used against the dwindling numbers of Rohingya in Myanmar," AP reports:
"Only 5 Nations Can Hit Any Place on Earth With a Missile. For Now" — N.Y. Times:
What's next: "North Korea has drastically increased the range of its missiles. In tests last year, the nation showed that it could probably strike the United States."
The New Republic gives Axios AM readers a first look at its March issue, which includes "Capitol Offenses," a package eight essays on sexual discrimination and harassment in D.C., across politics, policy and the media ...
Black Panther, Marvel’s new superhero movie (out a week from tomorrow; now rated an astonishing 99% on Rotten Tomatoes), is the first megabudget movie — not just about superheroes, but about anyone — to have an African-American director and predominantly black cast, TIME contributor Jamil Smith writes:
Thank for reading. See you all day in the Axios stream ...