May 22, 2017

Report: Trump asked intel chiefs to deny evidence of Russia collusion

Jacquelyn Martin / AP

President Trump asked the Director of National Intelligence and NSA Director to make public statements denying the existence of any evidence of collusion between his campaign and Russia, according to the Washington Post. Per the report, Trump made separate requests to Dan Coats and Admiral Mike Rogers and both declined, considering the requests inappropriate.

The timing: After James Comey testified on March 20 that the FBI was investigating potential ties between the campaign and Russia.

The motivation: White House officials say Trump was "upset" by Comey's testimony. A senior intel official accused him of trying to "muddy the waters" about the nature of the investigation.

The paper trail: According to the Post, Trump's request to Rogers was recorded in a memo that can be reviewed by Robert Mueller, the special counsel leading the Russia investigation.

The White House response:

"The White House does not confirm or deny unsubstantiated claims based on illegal leaks from anonymous individuals."

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Focus group: Minnesota swing voters balk at Trump's Easter deadline

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A group of Midwestern swing voters that supported President Trump's handling of the coronavirus less than two weeks ago is balking at his call for the U.S. to be "opened up" by Easter, saying they'll tolerate business closures for as long as it takes to contain the spread.

Why it matters: Their feedback suggests that some voters otherwise mostly supportive of the president — and who still see financial threats outpacing health threats — aren't so tired of social distancing that they're willing to risk ending it too quickly.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 54 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 a.m. ET: 607,965 — Total deaths: 28,125 — Total recoveries: 132,688.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 7 a.m. ET: 104,837 — Total deaths: 1,711 — Total recoveries: 894.
  3. Federal government latest: President Trump signed the $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill to provide businesses and U.S. workers economic relief.
  4. State updates: North Carolina is latest state to issue stay-at-home order — New York is trying to nearly triple its hospital capacity in less than a month.
  5. World updates: Italy reported 969 coronavirus deaths on Friday, the country's deadliest day.
  6. Business latest: President Trump authorized the use of the Defense Production Act to direct General Motors to build ventilators for those affected by COVID-19. White House trade adviser Peter Navarro has been appointed to enforce the act.
  7. 🏰 1 Disney thing: Both Disney World and Disneyland theme parks in the U.S. are closed until further notice.
  8. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancing.
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Trump signs $2 trillion relief bill as U.S. coronavirus case count tops 100,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

President Trump signed a $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief package on Friday, as infections in the U.S. topped 100,000 and more cities experience spikes of the novel coronavirus.

The big picture: The U.S. has the most COVID-19 cases in the world, exceeding China and Italy, per data from Johns Hopkins. A second wave of American cities, including Boston, Detroit, New Orleans and Philadelphia, are reporting influxes of cases.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 10 hours ago - Health