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Jim Cole / AP

Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation has reportedly expanded to include a closer look at financial and business transactions involving both President Trump and some of his closest associates, a person "familiar with the probe" tells Bloomberg. This reportedly absorbed a money laundering investigation started by fired U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara last year.

  • The three prongs of the Mueller investigation: Trump's finances, direct election interference and hacking, and the actions of Michael Flynn.
  • What Mueller has his eyes on: Trump's interactions with Russian businessmen seem to be the biggest focus, including the Agalarov-funded Miss Universe pageant in Moscow in 2013 and the Russian ties to the development of the Trump SoHo hotel.
  • Also on the table: Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, and Wilbur Ross' ties to the Bank of Cyprus — a prime destination for Russian money laundering — are reportedly of interest.

Go deeper

12 hours ago - World

Maximum pressure campaign escalates with Fakhrizadeh killing

Photo: Fars News Agency via AP

The assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the architect of Iran’s military nuclear program, is a new height in the maximum pressure campaign led by the Trump administration and the Netanyahu government against Iran.

Why it matters: It exceeds the capture of the Iranian nuclear archives by the Mossad, and the sabotage in the advanced centrifuge facility in Natanz.

Scoop: Biden weighs retired General Lloyd Austin for Pentagon chief

Lloyd Austin testifying before Congress in 2015. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Joe Biden is considering retired four-star General Lloyd Austin as his nominee for defense secretary, adding him to a shortlist that includes Jeh Johnson, Tammy Duckworth and Michele Flournoy, two sources with direct knowledge of the decision-making tell Axios.

Why it matters: A nominee for Pentagon chief was noticeably absent when the president-elect rolled out his national security team Tuesday. Flournoy had been widely seen as the likely pick, but Axios is told other factors — race, experience, Biden's comfort level — have come into play.

Updated 14 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York COVID restrictions.
  3. World: Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.
  4. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in December Black Friday shopping across the U.S., in photosAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.