Andrew McCabe before testifying to Congress in December. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Months of private and public pressure from the Trump administration paid off today, with FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe stepping down in advance of his scheduled retirement.

  • The public pressure: Trump has tweeted five times about McCabe over the past year, thrice in December.
  • The private pressure: AG Jeff Sessions — at the public urging of Trump — had been pressuring FBI Director Christopher Wray to fire McCabe, but Wray threatened to resign if McCabe was removed, Axios' Jonathan Swan scooped last week.
  • "McCabe abruptly stepped down on Monday as the F.B.I.’s deputy director after months of withering criticism from President Trump, telling friends he felt pressure from [FBI Director Wray]," sources told the NYT's Adam Goldman and Matt Apuzzo.
  • Wray "raised concerns about a forthcoming inspector general report examining the actions of Mr. McCabe and other senior F.B.I. officials during the 2016 presidential campaign, when the bureau was investigating both Hillary Clinton’s email use and the Trump campaign’s connections to Russia," per NYT.

Swan on why it matters: "Substantively, I don't think it makes a big difference regarding Trump's exposure, especially on Russia. Rod Rosenstein is still there and so is Mueller. But Sessions is gradually bending the Justice Department in the direction Trump wants it to turn."

Intrigue: Today's talker comes from NBC's Carol Lee, who reports that Trump called McCabe after firing James Comey in 2017:

  • "Trump demanded to know why Comey was allowed to fly on an FBI plane after he had been fired... McCabe told the president he hadn’t been asked to authorize Comey’s flight, but if anyone had asked, he would have approved it..."
  • "The president was silent for a moment and then turned on McCabe, suggesting he ask his wife how it feels to be a loser — an apparent reference to a failed campaign for state office in Virginia that McCabe’s wife made in 2015."
  • "McCabe replied: 'OK, sir.'"
  • "Trump then hung up the phone."

Behind the scenes by Bloomberg's Jennifer Jacobs, a preview of more to come:

  • "Trump erupted in anger [last week] while traveling to Davos after learning that Associate Attorney General Stephen Boyd warned that it would be 'extraordinarily reckless' to release a classified memo written by House Republican staffers."
  • "Trump warned Sessions and others they need to excel at their jobs or go down as the worst in history," sources told Bloomberg.

Go deeper: Timeline — Trump's turbulent relationship with McCabe

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U.S. daily coronavirus cases top 50,000 for first time

Medical staff change a patient's bed sheets in the Covid-19 intensive care unit at the United Memorial Medical Center in Houston, Texas, on Tuesday. Photo: Go Nakamura/Getty Images

A record 50,655 tested positive for the novel coronavirus in the United States on Wednesday, Johns Hopkins data shows.

Of note: State governors across the country have been pausing or adjusting reopening plans in response to surging coronavirus cases across the U.S. in recent days.

Editor's note: This is a developing news story. Please check back for updates.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of midnight ET: 10,667,217 — Total deaths: 515,646 — Total recoveries — 5,464,367Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of midnight ET: 2,685,806 — Total deaths: 128,061 — Total recoveries: 729,994 — Total tested: 32,827,359Map.
  3. Federal government: Trump says he still thinks coronavirus will "just disappear" at some point, supports another round of direct payments to Americans.
  4. Public health: Thanks to coronavirus, your home is now your gymFormer FDA chief says 500,000 Americans may be contracting coronavirus a day.
  5. States: Georgia and Arizona report record new coronavirus cases — California shuts down bars and indoor dining for most residents.
  6. 1 ⚽️ thing: 6 players test positive for coronavirus before MLS comeback tournament.
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Biden outraises Trump again with record $141 million June haul

Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden at Philadelphia City Hall in Pennsylvania in June. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden and the Democratic Party raised $141 million in June, his campaign announced on Wednesday night.

Why it matters: It's the most the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee has raised in a month. It's also more than the record $131 million President Trump's re-election campaign and the Republican National Committee raised last month.