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David Goldman / AP

Republicans weigh in on the NYT report that Trump asked then-FBI Director James Comey to stop investigating Michael Flynn, who resigned as National Security Advisor over contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak:

  • Rep. Jason Chaffetz: "If the [Comey] memo exists, I need to see it and I need to see it right away."
  • Speaker Paul Ryan: "We need to have all the facts, & it is appropriate for Oversight Committee to request this memo."
  • Sen. John McCain said at a dinner that Trump scandals have reached a "Watergate size and scale." When first asked he said, "I need to read the full story before I can comment on that…I gotta know what the WH response is."
  • Sen. Lindsey Graham: When asked if he has invited Comey to testify, he turned to cameras and said "I just did." He added, "he's got to come in and tell us why…We're not going to try somebody on a piece of paper." Graham also said he would consider a special prosecutor if Comey's account was true.
  • Sen Marco Rubio: "Certainly it's less than ideal, but it is what it is."
  • Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers wants to see Comey testify.
  • Rep. Carlos Curbelo: "If recent allegations are true, they mark the beginning of a new and very sad chapter of scandal and controversy in our country." He added "I think you'll see more [calls for select committee] soon."
  • Rep. Adam Kinzinger: "These serious allegations effect our nat'l security & they carry very real consequences. It's time for Comey to testify before Congress."
  • Rep. Peter King said "The reason I doubt this as it's being reported is, Director Comey would have had an obligation to immediately bring that to someone's attention…it would have been a crime, the way it's being reported if the president said, 'you have to stop this investigation,' that's interfering with an investigation."
  • Rep. Mark Sanford said we're past the point of "troubling," adding "It would be more than deeply troubling."
  • Rep. Darrell Issa:

Go deeper

Scoop: Gina Haspel threatened to resign over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy

CIA Director Gina Haspel. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

CIA Director Gina Haspel threatened to resign in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelation stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency. Only a series of coincidences — and last minute interventions from Vice President Mike Pence and White House counsel Pat Cipollone — stopped it.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution — Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan — Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.

John Weaver, Lincoln Project co-founder, acknowledges “inappropriate” messages

John Weaver aboard John McCain's campaign plane in February 2000. Photo: Robert Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images)

John Weaver, a veteran Republican operative who co-founded the Lincoln Project, declared in a statement to Axios on Friday that he sent “inappropriate,” sexually charged messages to multiple men.

  • “To the men I made uncomfortable through my messages that I viewed as consensual mutual conversations at the time: I am truly sorry. They were inappropriate and it was because of my failings that this discomfort was brought on you,” Weaver said.
  • “The truth is that I'm gay,” he added. “And that I have a wife and two kids who I love. My inability to reconcile those two truths has led to this agonizing place.”