Photo: Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Since Thursday's New York Times report revealed President Trump had at one point thought about firing special counsel Robert Mueller, Republicans have taken varied stances on what to do if that were to happen.

Why it matters: This was a concern for Republicans for a long time, and the Times report confirmed their worries. Now Sen. Chuck Grassley says he may support legislation protecting Mueller, while Sen. Thom Tillis is backing off legislation he once supported to do just that.

  • In a CNN interview, Grassley said Trump should let the counsel's investigation "work its course," and that he's "surely open to considering" bills that would protect Mueller and any future special counsels from administrations.
  • On the other hand, the Daily Beast reports that Tillis "has largely abandoned" the bipartisan legislation he once supported that would have protected Mueller. Per the Beast, he "still supports the bill" but doesn't consider it urgent "since Trump says he doesn't plan to fire Mueller."

Go deeper

2 mins ago - Health

U.S. reaches 200,000 coronavirus deaths

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Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Chart: Axios Visuals

The coronavirus has now killed 200,000 Americans, according to Johns Hopkins data.

The big picture: Whatever context you try to put this in, it is a catastrophe of historic proportions — and is yet another reminder of America's horrific failure to contain the virus.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Mitt Romney says he'll support moving forward with Supreme Court pick

Photo: Greg Nash/AFP/Pool via Getty Images

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) announced Tuesday that he would support moving forward with a Senate vote on President Trump's selection to replace the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Why it matters: Barring any big surprises, Democrats have virtually no shot at stopping the confirmation process for the president’s nominee before November’s election.

Dave Lawler, author of World
1 hour ago - World

In UN address, Trump says China "unleashed this plague onto the world"

Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump used a virtual address to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday to defend his response to the coronavirus and call on other countries to “hold accountable the nation which unleashed this plague onto the world: China.”

Setting the scene: Trump ticked through four years of major decisions and accomplishments in what could be his last address to the UN. But first, he launched into a fierce attack on China as Beijing’s representative looked on in the assembly hall.

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