O'Rourke arrives in Lakeville, Minnesota on Wednesday, May 8, 2019. Photo: Jean Pieri/MediaNews Group/St. Paul Pioneer Press via Getty Images

Beto O'Rourke is plotting a political comeback after lagging behind in polls ahead of June's first Democratic presidential debate, the AP reports.

The big picture: O'Rourke's polling numbers are declining nationally, and they look even worse in the early caucus states, CNN reports. He plans to step up his national media appearances, but aides insist he will still dedicate time to those "off-the-beaten path" stomping grounds — often rural or primarily Republican — that became hallmarks of his Senate campaign.

Behind the scenes: O'Rourke's team also acknowledged to the AP that his campaign launch was a little chaotic. It took the former Texas representative 2 weeks after launching to formally hire his campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon.

Go deeper: Beto O'Rourke on the issues, in under 500 words

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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 13 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.