Axios Jun 7
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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

Jonathan Swan 1 hour ago
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Trump's two-front war

Photo: Jabin Botsford / The Washington Post via Getty Images

President Trump is ending the week with a flop — nowhere close to the border wall funding he wanted in the DACA-less spending bill that congressional leaders released last evening. But he's fulfilling one of his most aggressive campaign promises with his anti-China trade action.

The big picture: Trump's expected announcement today of tariffs on Chinese imports is a big deal, and analysts fear it could provoke a trade war — and it comes as Trump has been battling his own party here at home over the government spending bill.

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The worst flu season in eight years

Note: Activity levels are based on outpatient visits in a state compared to the average number of visits that occur during weeks with little or no flu virus circulation; Data: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios

This year's flu season caught many experts off guard with both its sustained prevalence and its virulence. At its peak, there was a higher level of flu-like illnesses reported than any other year during the past eight years. Watch in the visual as it hits its peak around Week 18.

Why it matters: Public health officials try to capture this data when developing the next year's vaccines. And, of course, they want to find better ways to prevent severe flu seasons. There's a "Strategic Plan" to develop a universal vaccine to protect against a wider range of influenza viruses, Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, tells Axios.