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Andrew Harnik / AP

Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in Wednesday's briefing that President Trump had "been considering letting Director Comey go since the day he got elected." She said there has been an "erosion of confidence... a lot of missteps and mistakes," that ultimately led to his ouster:

  • Did Trump ask the deputy Attorney General for recommendation Comey be fired? "No," said Sanders, but the two met Monday to discuss Comey's performance.
  • Russian investigation: "Any investigation that was going on Monday is still going on today. In fact, we want them to continue the investigation," said Sanders, so everyone can move on once it's over.
  • Democrats reaction: "I think it's startling that Democrats aren't celebrating this," said Sanders. "If Hillary had won, which thank God she didn't... Democrats would have been dancing in the streets."
  • On Trump meeting with Russian officials: "These are meetings that have been on the books for a while."

Go deeper

Oklahoma sues Biden administration over Pentagon vaccine mandate

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin testifies before a House Armed Services Committee hearing on Sept. 29 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Olivier Douliery/Pool via Getty Images

The state of Oklahoma filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration on Thursday in an attempt to block the enforcement of its vaccine mandate for federal employees.

Why it matters: The move comes one day after Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin denied Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt's (R) request to exempt the state's National Guard from the mandate.

Congress passes stopgap funding bill to avert shutdown

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Senate voted 69-28 to pass legislation Thursday night to fund the government until February 18.

Why it matters: The move staves off a government shutdown but lawmakers still have a busy month ahead: Congress needs to work out a deal to raise the debt ceiling in a few weeks and Democrats are trying to pass their behemoth social spending bill.

DiDi to delist from NYSE under Chinese govt pressure

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Chinese ride-hail giant DiDi said it will delist from the New York Stock Exchange, following a Chinese government crackdown on foreign listings.

Why it matters: This reflects how geopolitical tensions are bleeding into the capital markets.