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President Trump told "Fox & Friends" during a Friday phone-in that "the jury's still out" on FBI Director Chris Wray and the bureau's handling of its investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

What he's saying: "Look the jury's still out with regard to that, but it would have been a lot easier if he came out rather than skirting and going through, you know, 19 different ways except through the FBI, so let's see."

  • "But I said, you know what? I want Bill Barr to handle it. I want nothing to do. Let's see. He's done an unbelievable job."

The state of play: Trump has faced public and private pressure from allies to fire Wray, who he appointed to the position after firing James Comey, over the Flynn investigation.

  • The Justice Department moved yesterday to drop its case against Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with the former Russian ambassador in 2017.
  • It said in its court filing that it concluded that the interview in which Flynn lied to the FBI "was untethered to, and unjustified by, the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation into Mr. Flynn" and "conducted without any legitimate investigative basis."
  • Flynn had been trying to withdraw his guilty plea in recent months, especially after the release of new FBI documents regarding his case.

Go deeper: Inside FBI director Chris Wray's fate

Go deeper

Aug 9, 2020 - World

Pelosi says election threats from China and Russia are "not equivalent"

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday that the threats posed by China and Russia to U.S. elections are "not equivalent," stressing that "Russia is actively, 24/7, interfering in our election."

Why it matters: Top counterintelligence official William Evanina revealed in a statement on Friday that the Russian government is "using a range of measures" to "denigrate" Joe Biden ahead of the election. The government of China, meanwhile, prefers that Trump does not win re-election, Evanina said.

2 hours ago - World

Special report: Trump's U.S.-China transformation

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump began his term by launching the trade war with China he had promised on the campaign trail. By mid-2020, however, Trump was no longer the public face of China policy-making as he became increasingly consumed with domestic troubles, giving his top aides carte blanche to pursue a cascade of tough-on-China policies.

Why it matters: Trump alone did not reshape the China relationship. But his trade war shattered global norms, paving the way for administration officials to pursue policies that just a few years earlier would have been unthinkable.

McConnell: Trump "provoked" Capitol mob

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Tuesday that the pro-Trump mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 was "provoked by the president and other powerful people."

Why it matters: Trump was impeached by the House last week for "incitement of insurrection." McConnell has not said how he will vote in Trump's coming Senate impeachment trial, but sources told Axios' Mike Allen that the chances of him voting to convict are higher than 50%.