Get the latest market trends in your inbox

Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with the Axios Markets newsletter. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Minneapolis-St. Paul

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa-St. Petersburg news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa-St. Petersburg

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Alex Brandon / AP

In the past two weeks, Trump has been on a campaign against Attorney General Jeff Sessions, tweeting this morning that Sessions took a "VERY weak position on Hillary Clinton crimes." A few Republicans quickly came to Sessions' defense this morning.

Why it matters: This is a heavy line up of movement leaders supporting Sessions despite Trump's criticism. If Trump decides to fire Sessions anyway, he'll need the Senate to confirm whoever he choses as the next Attorney General.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, had a six-part tweetstorm: "Jeff Sessions is one of the most decent people I've ever met in my political life. ... Jeff Session is a rock-solid conservative, but above else he believes in the Rule of Law. He understands we are a nation of laws, not men. ... On occasion, I've vigorously disagreed with Jeff but I've never once doubted his integrity or sense of fair play. ... President Trump's tweet today suggesting Attorney General Sessions pursue prosecution of a former political rival is highly inappropriate. ... Prosecutorial decisions should be based on applying facts to the law without hint of political motivation. ... To do otherwise is to run away from the long-standing American tradition of separating the law from politics regardless of party."

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) also questioned Trump, replying to his tweet: "Mr. President, maybe just try a meeting? This is beneath the office - of any held office - from city councilman to POTUS."

Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.): "During the past twenty years that I have served with Jeff Sessions in the Senate, I have had the opportunity to know him well. ... Jeff Sessions is a man of integrity, loyalty, and extraordinary character. ... I join the people of Alabama in giving Jeff Sessions my deep respect and unwavering support."

Sen. Thom Tillis (R, NC): "I've worked with Jeff Sessions for years, and while we certainly may not agree on the specifics of every issue, I believed he would be a great Attorney General because of his unwavering commitment to the rule of law. In the nearly six months he has led the Department of Justice, he has maintained that commitment every day and demonstrated why he was widely respected during his years as a U.S. Senator."

Sen. Ted Cruz (R, TX): "Jeff Sessions is a friend and a strong conservative. I was proud to vote to confirm Jeff and to vigorously defend his confirmation, and I'm deeply gratified that we have a principled conservative like Jeff Sessions serving as Attorney General. The stories being reported in the media tonight are false. My focus is and will remain on fighting every day defend 28 million Texans in the US. Senate."

Sen. Rob Portman (R, OH): "Jeff Sessions is a friend, former colleague, and an honorable person. He is a man of deep conviction and principle who believes in the rule of law. We may not agree on every policy issue, but I believe he always has the best interests of our country at heart."

Other political and law enforcement leaders defending Sessions:

Jim DeMint, former Senator of South Carolina, leading figure of Tea Party movement: "Trump right about media's Russia obsession. Hope he sees Jeff Sessions is a great leader that will defend Constitution & rule of law."

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins: "Attorney General Jeff Sessions has in a very short time restored the Justice Department's reputation as one that upholds the law -- not circumvents or undermines it. He has ushered in a new era at DOJ -- one that cherishes the Constitution and its protection of our freedom from government oppression. If there's one thing we know about the Attorney General, it's that he understands the importance of all of our God-given rights, respects the law, and is making tremendous progress to restore our nation to greatness."

Ken Blackwell, who headed Domestic Policy for Trump Transition, former Mayor of Cincinnati, Ohio Secretary of State, Senior Fellow American Civil Rights Union: "As someone who has worked with Attorney General Sessions most recently on President Trump's transition team, I cannot speak highly enough about General Sessions credentials and integrity as the nation's top law enforcement officer or about his loyalty to President Trump."

Jenny Beth Martin, Co-Founder, Tea Party Patriots: "Tea Party Patriots and our network of grassroots supporters around the country know that we can count on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to stand with us on the issues that matter most. He has been one of the strongest and most consistent allies we have and can think of no better person to serve as President Trump's Attorney General."

Jonathan Thompson, National Sheriffs' Association CEO and Executive Director: "On behalf of more than 3000 elected Sheriff's in this country we affirm today our support for Attorney General Jeff Sessions...We have complete confidence in Attorney General Sessions. Attorney General Sessions has restored law enforcement's trust in the federal government and we applaud his efforts to back the men and women in law enforcement. "

Go deeper

Trump pressures Barr to release so-called Durham report

Bill Barr. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

President Trump and his allies are piling extreme pressure on Attorney General Bill Barr to release a report that Trump believes could hurt perceived Obama-era enemies — and view Barr's designation of John Durham as special counsel as a stall tactic, sources familiar with the conversations tell Axios.

Why it matters: Speculation over Barr's fate grew on Tuesday, with just 49 days remaining in Trump's presidency, after Barr gave an interview to the Associated Press in which he said the Justice Department has not uncovered evidence of widespread fraud that could change the election's outcome.

CDC to cut guidance on quarantine period for coronavirus exposure

A health care worker oversees cars as people arrive to get tested for coronavirus at a testing site in Arlington, Virginia, on Tuesday. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

The CDC will soon shorten its guidance for quarantine periods following exposure to COVID-19, AP reported Tuesday and Axios can confirm.

Why it matters: Quarantine helps prevent the spread of the coronavirus, which can occur before a person knows they're sick or if they're infected without feeling any symptoms. The current recommended period to stay home if exposed to the virus is 14 days. The CDC plans to amend this to 10 days or seven with a negative test, an official told Axios.

  • The CDC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
4 hours ago - Health

CDC panel: COVID vaccines should go to health workers, long-term care residents first

Hospital staff work in the COVID-19 intensive care unit in Houston. Photo: Go Nakamura via Getty

Health-care workers and nursing home residents should be at the front of the line to get coronavirus vaccines in the United States once they’re cleared and available for public use, an independent CDC panel recommended in a 13-1 emergency vote on Tuesday, per CNBC.

Why it matters: Recent developments in COVID-19 vaccines have accelerated the timeline for distribution as vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna undergo the federal approval process. States are preparing to begin distributing as soon as two weeks from now.

Get Axios AM in your inbox

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!