Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Rebecca Zisser / Axios

There's only one thing on the mind of Trumpland this week: the firing of FBI Director James Comey. It's saturated the news for the better part of a week — largely through POTUS' own special skill of keeping a single story on life support across multiple news cycles. So let's get the story straight on how everything went down and huddle amongst the bushes of Trumpland.

The firing: The actual act was as uniquely Trumpian as it gets. POTUS had his private head of security hand-deliver Comey's termination letter to FBI headquarters. Of course, Comey was actually a few thousand miles away in Los Angeles, where he saw the news on TV — which he reportedly thought was a prank at first. And in the most LA twist of all: a helicopter tracked Comey's every move on traffic-choked freeways back to his private jet. If the Russia investigation doesn't fit…

The press shop: Someone else who got blindsided by the news: Sean Spicer. He reportedly tried to email a statement announcing the firing but gave up and yelled it at reporters outside his door instead. Then the bushes incident happened. Then he had some badly-timed Naval Reserve duty, which let Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Sanders step into the spotlight. And she's apparently the only one who escaped Trump's ire in the press shop this week. Not the best night for Melissa McCarthy to be hosting SNL, huh?

The recovery: But things got back on message through Wednesday! Say it with me: "POTUS followed the recommendation of the Deputy Attorney General." Say it over and over and over again. That's what Kellyanne and Mike Pence and Sanders did — all day long on Wednesday. It was spin, but it was defensible spin. It looked like the White House was gonna get through this one!

The interview: Then POTUS sat down with NBC News' Lester Holt and all of that went out the window with a few simple words: "I was going to fire [him] regardless of recommendation." So Sanders tried to say she'd hadn't talked directly with POTUS to discuss his motivations, Mike Pence was misled again, and Kellyanne was nowhere to be seen. And, on a bigger level, that raised even more questions about the whole Russia thing. So probably best just to hunker down and…

The tweets: …tweet? Yeah, naturally POTUS unleashed a tweetstorm of epic proportions yesterday morning. He hinted at doing away with live press briefings — and that wasn't even the bombshell. He suggested that he might have "tapes" of his conversations with Comey. It was in quotes, like "wiretapping," so who knows what next week in Trumpland is going to bring?

Go deeper

31 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden's latest executive order: Buy American

President Joe R. Biden speaks about the economy before signing executive orders in the State Dining Room at the White House on Friday, Jan 22, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

President Joe Biden will continue his flurry of executive orders on Monday, signing a new directive to require the federal government to “buy American” for products and services.

Why it matters: The executive action is yet another attempt by Biden to accomplish goals administratively without waiting for the backing of Congress. The new order echoes Biden's $400 billion campaign pledge to increase government purchases of American goods.

Tech digs in for long domestic terror fight

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

With domestic extremist networks scrambling to regroup online, experts fear the next attack could come from a radicalized individual — much harder than coordinated mass events for law enforcement and platforms to detect or deter.

The big picture: Companies like Facebook and Twitter stepped up enforcement and their conversations with law enforcement ahead of Inauguration Day. But they'll be tested as the threat rises that impatient lone-wolf attackers will lash out.

The pandemic could be worsening childhood obesity

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The 10-month long school closures and the coronavirus pandemic are expected to have a big impact on childhood obesity rates.

Why it matters: About one in five children are obese in the U.S. — an all-time high — with worsening obesity rates across income and racial and ethnic groups, data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey show.