May 11, 2017

Trump: I asked Comey if I was under FBI investigation

Evan Vucci / AP

Trump told NBC's Lester Holt he decided to fire James Comey before meeting with Jeff Sessions and Deputy A.G. Rod Rosenstein, contradicting repeated White House statements.

  • Trump says Comey told him once at dinner and twice over the phone that he was not under investigation. "I said, 'if it's possible, would you let me know, am I under investigation?'"
  • Trump said the dinner came about "because he wanted to stay on" as FBI Director, and he told Comey "we'll see what happens."
  • Trump: "I know that I'm not under investigation. Me. Personally. I'm not talking about campaigns, I'm not talking about anything else. I'm not under investigation."
  • Does it cross any lines? No, per Pete Williams' sources, who say the conversations would violate no laws.
  • Pulling no punches: Trump called Comey a "grandstander" and a "showboat."

Go deeper

Coronavirus spreads to more countries, and South Korea ups its case count

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus continues to spread to more nations, and the U.S. reports a doubling of its confirmed cases to 34 — while noting those are mostly due to repatriated citizens, emphasizing there's no "community spread" yet in the U.S. South Korea's confirmed cases jumped from 204 on Friday to 433 on Saturday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 2,362 people and infected more than 77,000 others, mostly in mainland China. New countries to announce infections recently include Israel, Lebanon and Iran.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 22 mins ago - Health

Centrist Democrats beseech 2020 candidates: "Stand up to Bernie" or Trump wins

Bernie Sanders rallies in Las Vegas, Nevada on Feb. 21. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Center-left think tank Third Way urgently called on the Democratic front-runners of the 2020 presidential election to challenge Sen. Bernie Sanders on the South Carolina debate stage on Feb. 25, in a memo provided to Axios' Mike Allen on Saturday.

What they're saying: "At the Las Vegas debate ... you declined to really challenge Senator Sanders. If you repeat this strategy at the South Carolina debate this week, you could hand the nomination to Sanders, likely dooming the Democratic Party — and the nation — to Trump and sweeping down-ballot Republican victories in November."

Situational awareness

Warren Buffett. Photo: Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage

Catch up on today's biggest news:

  1. Warren Buffett releases annual letter, reassures investors about future of Berkshire Hathaway
  2. Greyhound bars immigration sweeps
  3. U.S. military officially stops offensive operations in Afghanistan
  4. America's future looks a lot like Nevada
  5. Centrist Democrats beseech 2020 candidates: "Stand up to Bernie" or Trump wins