Jul 13, 2018

The big picture: Mueller looms over Trump's Eurotrip

Robert Mueller at a news conference at FBI Headquarters. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump's royal welcome was overshadowed today by his own Justice Department, as the Mueller investigation charged 12 Russians with hacking Democrats during the 2016 elections — and this comes just three days before Trump's meeting with Vladimir Putin.

The big picture: The Mueller investigation's charges today directly tie the Russian government to 2016 election hacking, charging 12 Russian intelligence officers with hacking U.S. Democratic candidates and organizations. The charges also include conspiracy and money laundering.

Matt Miller, MSNBC analyst and former Obama Justice Department official, tells me: "This is the biggest shoe to drop yet."

Timing: Just hours before the indictments came down, Trump blasted the Mueller investigation while overseas:

  • “I think that we’re being hurt very badly by the, I would call it the witch hunt; I would call it the rigged witch hunt... I think that really hurts our country and it really hurts our relationship with Russia.”

What they're saying:

  • Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer: "President Trump should cancel his meeting with Vladimir Putin until Russia takes demonstrable and transparent steps to prove that they won’t interfere in future elections."
  • Top Senate Intel Democrat Mark Warner called on Trump to "cease and desist" from calling the Mueller investigation a "witch hunt."
  • John Podesta, Hillary Clinton's former campaign chairman who had his email hacked, said he is "pleased that there's enough criminal evidence to bring an indictment."
  • White House Spokesperson Lindsay Walters: "Today’s charges include no allegations of knowing involvement by anyone on the campaign and no allegations that the alleged hacking affected the election result. This is consistent with what we have been saying all along.”
  • The White House has no plans to cancel the Putin meeting, Sarah Sanders said. "It's on."

Be smart: These indictments are unlikely to ever put Russians in U.S. prisons, but they will up the political pressure and could mean frozen assets for those with money overseas.

Go deeper:

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Alaska becomes latest state to issue coronavirus stay-at-home order

Data: Axios reporting; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Alaska issued a mandate Friday evening for all people in the state to "remain at their place of residence and practice social distancing" except for those engaged in essential services, including health care and government functions, effective Saturday at 5 p.m.

The big picture: This is the latest state to announce policies to enforce social distancing. More than 1.5 billion people worldwide were asked to stay home Monday.

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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.

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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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