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AP Photo/Evan Vucci

President Trump has found someone other than himself to blame for the bungled firing of James Comey: his press shop.

Trump believes the communications team let him down badly on Tuesday evening in the minutes and hours after his decision to fire the FBI director, according to two White House sources. The one exception to his ire is Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who has been performing as a stand-in press secretary while Sean Spicer is on Naval reserve duty.

Trump has no patience for the defense that the press team didn't get enough time to prepare for Comey. The near universal view among senior White House officials is that Tuesday night's fiasco was a competence problem not a lack-of-time problem.

A source with direct knowledge tells me the president has been openly sounding people out about removing Spicer, but it's not clear whether any decision has been made. I emailed Sanders and Spicer about this last night and Sanders told me, "the entire premise of your story is wrong."

Go deeper

Biden extends mask mandates for travelers into 2022

President Biden delivers remarks at the White House on Dec. 1. Photo: Anna Moneymaker via Getty Images

President Biden will announce new testing protocols for international travelers on Thursday and extend masking requirements through March as the U.S. prepares to fight the Omicron variant this winter, according to senior administration officials.

Driving the news: The U.S. will tighten pre-departure testing protocols starting early next week by requiring all inbound international travelers to take COVID-19 tests within one day of their departure rather than three.

58 mins ago - Health

America probably won't lead the effort to understand Omicron

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The race to figure out just how dangerous the Omicron variant is will likely be a global effort, but some experts are skeptical that the U.S. will play a dominant role.

Why it matters: The CDC has repeatedly come under fire for inadequate data collection throughout the pandemic — and figuring out how to respond to Omicron requires a lot of data that doesn't currently exist.

U.S. faces urgent anti-hacker crisis

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

The Biden administration is accelerating efforts to fill nearly 600,000 vacant cybersecurity positions in the public and private sectors bogging down efforts to protect digital infrastructure.

Why it matters: Following a deluge of ransomware attacks targeting critical government and corporate infrastructure this year, clogs in the talent pipeline are leaving federal, cash-strapped local governments and Big Business even more susceptible to hacking.