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Carolyn Kaster / AP

On the eve of Sally Yates' testimony before the Senate on her warnings about Mike Flynn, the President wants any of his staff who've been feeding negative lines about Flynn to the media to stop immediately.

White House officials have been eager to throw the former national security advisor under the bus, but a source familiar with the President's thinking says he still thinks highly of Flynn and has never authorized any of his staff to undermine the retired general. Trump still defends his former national security advisor and wasn't happy to see an Axios story Sunday afternoon saying administration officials have been attacking Flynn to reporters.

How Trump reasons it, per the source:

  • General Flynn is a good man who served his country admirably.
  • The Russia story is "fake news" and Flynn did nothing wrong by having the conversations with the Russian ambassador. (Though obviously the President has acknowledged publicly that it wasn't appropriate for Flynn to either mislead the Vice President or not remember the phone call where they discussed sanctions.)
  • When Flynn went to Russia in 2015 to deliver a paid speech and take a photo with Putin, he was acting under an Obama security clearance. This is a point the President wants to stress and you can expect to hear the White House press team repeat it.

The context: White House staffers have been anonymously telling reporters for weeks that Flynn was a bad advisor with an agenda, as I reported earlier today in Sneak Peek. Such comments were not confined to one faction of the White House - the willingness to throw Flynn under the bus has been broadly shared.

Go deeper

55 mins ago - Health

Axios-Ipsos poll: America looks for the exits after a year of COVID

Data: Axios/Ipsos poll; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

A year after the coronavirus abruptly shut down much of the country, Americans are watching for a clear signal of when the pandemic will be over — and most won't be ready to ditch the masks and social distancing until they get it, according to the latest installment of the Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

The big picture: The poll found that more Americans are expecting the outbreak to be over sooner rather than later, as vaccinations ramp up throughout the country — but that very few are ready to end the precautions that have upended their lives.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
55 mins ago - Health

Many vulnerable Americans have received the coronavirus vaccine

Data: CDC, U.S. Census Bureau; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

More than two-thirds of Americans 75 and older have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, as have more than half of those 65-74, per CDC data.

Why it matters: Any future surge in cases almost certainly wouldn't be as deadly as previous waves, because older people are the most likely to die from the virus.

3 hours ago - World

Report: "Clear evidence" China is committing genocide against Uyghurs

The scene in 2019 of a site believed to be a re-education camp where mostly Muslim ethnic minorities are detained, north of Kashgar in China's northwestern Xinjiang region. Photo: Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images

Chinese authorities have breached "each and every act prohibited" under the UN Genocide Convention over the treatment of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in China's Xinjiang province, an independent report published Tuesday alleges.

Why it matters: D.C. think-tank the Newlines Institute for Strategy and Policy, which released the report, said in a statement the conclusions by dozens of experts in war crimes, human rights and international law are "clear and convincing": The ruling Chinese Communist Party bears responsibility.

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