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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

Axios-Ipsos poll: People of color face more environmental threats

Expand chart
Data: Axios/Ipsos poll; Note: ±2.5% margin of error; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

Americans of color are much less likely than white Americans to experience good air quality or tap water or enough trees or green space in their communities, and they're more likely to face noise pollution and litter, a new Axios-Ipsos poll finds.

The big picture: Our national survey shows Black and Hispanic Americans are more likely than their white counterparts to live near major highways or industrial or manufacturing plants — and to have dealt in the past year with water-boil notices or power outages lasting more than 24 hours.

15 hours ago - Health

FDA advisory panel recommends Pfizer boosters for those 65 and older

A healthcare worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at the Key Biscayne Community Center on Aug. 24, 2021. Photo: Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A key Food and Drug Administration advisory panel on Friday overwhelmingly voted against recommending Pfizer vaccine booster shots for younger Americans, but unanimously recommended approving the third shots for individuals 65 and older, as well as those at high-risk of severe COVID-19.

Why it matters: While the votes are non-binding, and the FDA must still make a final decision, Friday's move pours cold water on the Biden administration's plan to begin administering boosters to most individuals who received the Pfizer vaccine later this month.

16 hours ago - World

France recalls ambassadors from U.S. and Australia over submarine deal

Secretary of State Antony Blinken (L), French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian (C), and French ambassador to the U.S. Philippe Etienne. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

France has taken the extraordinary step of recalling its ambassadors to the U.S. and Australia after both countries blindsided their French allies with a new military pact and submarine contract, the French Foreign Ministry announced on Friday.

The backstory: While sealing an agreement with the U.S. and U.K. to acquire nuclear submarines, Australia ripped up an existing $90 billion submarine deal with France. That led senior French officials to accuse the U.S. of a "stab in the back."