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Evan Vucci / AP

In an interview out this morning, President Trump tells TIME Washington Bureau Chief Michael Scherer, in response to a question about the risk to his reputation caused by false and ever-changing utterances: "Hey, look, I can't be doing so badly, because I'm President and you're not."

That "My Way" approach is part of the reason the Russia story has been festering, and now is erupting.

Health-care reform will be dead and born again many times before its true fate is sealed. That's how complicated legislation works.

But the Russia story

is going from fishy, to career-ending (Manafort, Flynn), to investigation-worthy, to FBI criminal probe, to a wide, Watergate-like scandal that could bring all of government to a halt:

  • House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), without informing his Democratic counterpart, saying he "recently confirmed that on numerous occasions, the intelligence community incidentally collected information about U.S. citizens involved in the Trump transition." (What he revealed, what he didn't.)
  • Trump saying he feels "somewhat" vindicated.
  • Feds have evidence suggesting Trump associates coordinated anti-Hillary releases with Russians.
  • The Manafort contract: You don't pay $10 million to play small ball. You pay it to blow up enemies.

If you read only 1 paragraph: Watergate was a coverup of a burglary. This could be the coverup of a nuclear-armed U.S. nemesis that infiltrated our politics with the specific aim of disrupting the very foundation of our democracy — a presidential election — and did so, possibly, in a manner that elected its preferred candidate and locked in all party control that could decimate the opposition party for years.

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Go deeper

9 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Border Democrats want migrants vaccinated

Rep. Filemon Vela (D-Tex.) Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Some Democrats representing border districts want President Biden to vaccinate migrants crossing into the U.S. — especially if he lifts public health restrictions that have prevented them from claiming asylum on American soil.

Why it matters: Inoculating migrants treads a fine line of protecting the U.S. population while possibly incentivizing more migration with the offer of free COVID-19 vaccines. Republicans are likely to pounce on that.

10 mins ago - World

State Dept. fears Chinese threats to labor auditors

A space for media is designated by Chinese authorities near a mosque in the Xinjiang region of China. Photo: Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images

The State Department is concerned organizations performing supply-chain audits in China are coming under pressure from Chinese authorities.

Why it matters: U.S. law prohibits importing products made through forced labor, but it's becoming increasingly difficult to verify whether products from China are tainted.

By the numbers: States with most guns, homicides

Data: USA Facts, U.S. Census Bureau; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

President Biden unveiled his anti-crime plan Wednesday following a surge in violent crime across the country — particularly in big cities.

Why it matters: Part of the administration's plan involves cracking down on gun dealers. The U.S. has witnessed mass shootings on a weekly basis this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive.