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Photo: Olivier Douliery, Pool / Getty Images

White House aides recognize there could be a high cost to President Trump's decision to allow — with no redactions — release of that classified memo about the Russian investigation. The White House has notified the House Intelligence Committee to release the memo, Fox News first reported and Axios has confirmed.

The White House plans to dress up the decision by arguing that it's an action of "transparency." But this puts President Trump publicly crossways with both the intelligence community and the FBI — not a place you want to be.

  • And then there's the lead-balloon factor: Axios scooped yesterday that many in the White House think the memo will be a dud — hardly delivering on the expectations that Fox's Sean Hannity and others on the right have whipped up with the online #ReleaseTheMemo frenzy.
  • So with no slam dunk, there could also be a political cost.
  • An administration source said last night: “Some back and forth on whether to actually do it. If it really is a dud and the memo really doesn’t say a hell of a lot, why would you risk pissing off [FBI Director Christopher] Wray?"
  • That West Wing fear syncs with a claim by Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, who said at an Axios event that the memo will be a letdown for the right — containing nothing that obviously invalidates the investigation or would cause anyone to get fired.
  • And the policy price ... The Boston Globe front-pages: "The hot topic at congressional Republicans’ annual policy retreat ... is not infrastructure, immigration, or even tax cuts — it’s 'The Memo.'"

About FBI Director Wray, the administration source said:

  • "He’s definitely pissed off and really upset, but not to the point where he’d resign."
  • "At some point, there needs to be a working relationship — just from a national security and protection level, you need to work together. But ... I’m not sure how that will work.”

Why it matters ... The N.Y. Times' Michael Schmidt, speaking to Brian Williams on MSNBC's "The 11th Hour," looks past the immediate frenzy:

  • "This is clearly the most aggressive thing that [Trump] has done, public-relations-wise, to try and brush back the Justice Department."
  • "This is a clear effort to undermine [Deputy Attorney General Rod] Rosenstein; [special counsel Bob] Mueller by extension."
  • "If this comes out and there's not a lot of 'there' there, the president will find himself in a very vulnerable position."
  • "Mueller has been spending a lot of time looking at his conduct in office. It's become increasingly clear to the public that there is an obstruction of justice [decision] that Mueller is going to have to make."
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Go deeper

Most teachers are white. Most students aren't.

Expand chart
Data: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics; Chart: Baidi Wang/Axios

The nation's 6.6 million teacher workforce has grown more racially and ethnically diverse over the past three decades — but not nearly fast enough to keep pace with a student population that's nearing majority-minority in public schools, two new reports show.

Why it matters: The disparities are especially acute between Hispanic students and teachers, and in schools with 90% or higher non-white student populations.

Updated 12 hours ago - World

UK government: Kremlin has plan "to install pro-Russian leadership" in Ukraine

British Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss. Photo: Gints Ivuskans / AFP via Getty Images

The United Kingdom's Foreign Secretary on Saturday night said the government has "information that indicates the Russian Government is looking to install a pro-Russian leader in Kyiv as it considers whether to invade and occupy Ukraine."

Driving the news: U.S. National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne called the intelligence "deeply concerning" in a statement to Axios. The Biden administration has said Russia is actively manufacturing a pretext for invasion and warned that Putin could use joint military exercises in Belarus as cover to invade from the north.

Updated 13 hours ago - Science

This powerful new accelerator looks for keys to the center of atoms

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Nuclear physicists trying to piece together how atoms are built are about to get a powerful new tool.

Why it matters: When the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams begins experiments later this spring, physicists from around the world will use the particle accelerator to better understand the inner workings of atoms that make up all the matter that can be seen in the universe.