Jun 7, 2017

Trump to nominate Christopher Wray to lead FBI

Lawrence Jackson / AP

President Trump announced on Twitter Wednesday morning that he is nominating Christopher Wray, George W. Bush's assistant attorney general, to be the new FBI Director.

Timing: Trump's announcement comes a day before former FBI Director James Comey is set to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Essential details on Wray:

  • He served during George W. Bush's administration as the former chief of the Justice Department's criminal division, from 2003-2005.
  • He "was a member of the administration's Corporate Fraud Task Force and oversaw the fraud prosecutions of former executives at Enron Corp," per USA Today.
  • He left the Justice Department in 2005 to work as a litigation partner at the King & Spalding law firm.
  • He was Chris Christie's personal lawyer during the Bridgegate scandal, and he has represented various Fortune 100 companies.

How the White House is reacting: Officials are relieved he chose someone other than Joe Leiberman, who previously took himself out of the race. There was concern at top levels of the administration that doing so would have only added to the firestorm because of his firm's connection

The caveat to watch:

How it's playing:

  • Norm Eisen, a frequent Trump critic: "[W[ray is a good choice..."
  • Matthew Miller, former spokesman to Eric Holder: "Wray probably the best choice from the WH short list. His record in the Bush DOJ deserves scrutiny, but he's a serious, respectable pick."

The Trump surprise?

What's next: Trump must formally nominate Wray, who has to be approved by the Senate. The administration has been slow on the nominations process.

Go deeper: Trump's Comey conundrum

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The cost of going after Bloomberg

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Here's the growing dilemma for 2020 Democrats vying for a one-on-one showdown with frontrunner Bernie Sanders: Do they have the guts — and the money — to first stop Mike Bloomberg?

Why it matters: Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren all must weigh the costs of punching Bloomberg where he looks most vulnerable: stop-and-frisk, charges of sexism, billionaire entitlement. The more zealous the attacks, the greater the risk he turns his campaign ATM against them.

How Trump’s economy stacks up

Source: "Presidents and US Economy", Trump figures through 2019 courtesy of Alan Blinder; Note: Data shows real GDP and Q1 growth in each term is attributed to the previous president; Chart: Axios Visuals

Average economic growth under President Trump has outpaced the growth under Barack Obama, but not all of his recent predecessors.

Why it matters: GDP is the most comprehensive economic scorecard — and something presidents, especially Trump, use as an example of success. And it's especially relevant since Trump is running for re-election on his economic record.

Coronavirus cases rise as 14 American evacuees infected

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's NHC; Note: China refers to mainland China and the Diamond Princess is the cruise ship offshore Yokohama, Japan. Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

14 Americans evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship tested positive for the novel coronavirus before being flown in a "specialist containment" on a plane repatriating U.S. citizens back home, the U.S. government said early Monday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 1,770 people and infected almost 70,000 others. Most cases and all but five of the deaths have occurred in mainland China. Taiwan confirmed its first death on Sunday, per multiple reports, in a 61-year-old man with underlying health conditions. Health officials were investigating how he became ill.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health