May 16, 2017

The Comey memo: Trump asked to end Flynn probe

Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP

President Trump asked then-FBI Director James Comey to shut down the federal government's investigation into former national security advisor Michael Flynn on the day after Flynn's February ouster, per the NY Times.

The source: Comey wrote a memo immediately after the Oval Office meeting, which states that Trump said, "I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go."

White House response: "While the President has repeatedly expressed his view that General Flynn is a decent man who served and protected our country, the President has never asked Mr. Comey or anyone else to end any investigation."

Stay tuned: The NYT highlights two key facts: (1) Comey wrote a memo after every interaction with the president, including some that remain classified, so there might be more shoes yet to drop and (2) an FBI agent's notes are widely held up as admissible in court proceedings.

Comey intends to "go public" with the memos from his interactions with Trump, according to NBC's Ken Dilanian.

Why it matters: It's the biggest bombshell yet regarding Trump's flouting of presidential norms — in this case, allegedly attempting to use the power of the presidency to interfere with an ongoing FBI investigation.

Outlets confirming the NYT report: NBC, WaPo, CNN, CBS, ABC, Politico, FT, AP.

Go deeper

George Floyd updates

Protesters gather north of Lafayette Square near the White House during a demonstration against racism and police brutality, in Washington, D.C. on Saturday evening. Photo: Jose Luis Magana/AFP via Getty Images

Tens of thousands of demonstrators have been rallying in cities across the U.S. and around the world to protest the killing of George Floyd. Huge crowds assembled in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and Chicago for full-day events on Saturday.

Why it matters: Twelve days of nationwide protest in the U.S. has built pressure for states to make changes on what kind of force law enforcement can use on civilians and prompted officials to review police conduct. A memorial service was held for Floyd in Raeford, North Carolina, near where he was born. Gov. Roy Cooper ordered all flags to fly at half-staff to honor him until sunset.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11:30 p.m. ET: 6,889,889 — Total deaths: 399,642 — Total recoveries — 3,085,326Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11:30 p.m. ET: 1,920,061 — Total deaths: 109,802 — Total recoveries: 500,849 — Total tested: 19,778,873Map.
  3. Public health: Why the pandemic is hitting minorities harder — Coronavirus curve rises in FloridaHow racism threatens the response to the pandemic Some people are drinking and inhaling cleaning products in attempt to fight the virus.
  4. Tech: The pandemic is accelerating next-generation disease diagnostics — Robotics looks to copy software-as-a-service model.
  5. Business: Budgets busted by coronavirus make it harder for cities to address inequality Sports, film production in California to resume June 12 after 3-month hiatus.
  6. Education: Students and teachers flunked remote learning.
Updated 5 hours ago - World

In photos: People around the world rally against racism

Despite a ban on large gatherings implemented in response to the coronavirus pandemic, protesters rally against racism in front of the American Embassy in Paris on June 6. Photo: Julien Mattia/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Tens of thousands of people have continued to rally in cities across the world against racism and show their support this week for U.S. demonstrators protesting the death in police custody of George Floyd.

Why it matters: The tense situation in the U.S. has brought the discussion of racism and discrimination onto the global stage at a time when most of the world is consumed by the novel coronavirus.