Jun 12, 2017

What really happened with Sessions

Andrew Harnik / AP

It didn't have the buildup of #ComeyWeek, but #SessionsDay could have its own fireworks. When Attorney General Jeff Sessions said this morning that he wanted tomorrow's Russia-related testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee (2:30 p.m.) to be public, many Republicans around town were surprised and worried.

"The risk of damage is very high," said one Republican lobbyist. "All possible outcomes are bad. Some worse than others."

  • Behind the curtain: I'm told by Senate Democratic sources that Sessions initially offered a private session, but that was a non-starter with the committee. So the meeting is being held in public at the insistence of the committee.
  • The two-step: The committee let Sessions announce that he was requesting a public hearing, then swiftly issued its own announcement about the open session.
  • If you're Sessions ... You're very conscious that President Trump will watch the hearings, either live or on his TiVo.
  • 1 big thing to watch for, via Matt Miller, a Justice Department official under President Obama: "Will Sessions answer questions about his involvement in Comey's firing, or will he cite executive privilege and an ongoing investigation?"
  • Spicer today: "I think it depends on the scope of the questions, and it would be -- to get into a hypothetical at this point would be premature."

In tomorrow's PM, we'll have the Axios read-between-the-lines of the afternoon testimony. In the meantime ...

Go deeper

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

Japan's economy minister outlined plans on Monday to end the nationwide state of emergency as the number of new novel coronavirus cases continues to decline to less than 50 a day, per Bloomberg. Japan has reported 16,550 cases and 820 deaths.

By the numbers: Over 5.4 million people have tested positive for the virus as of Monday, and more than 2.1 million have recovered. The U.S. has reported the most cases in the world (over 1.6 million from 13.7 million tests). The U.K. is reporting over 36,800 deaths from the coronavirus — the most fatalities outside the U.S.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of midnight ET: 5,401,701 — Total deaths: 345,060 — Total recoveries — 2,149,407Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of midnight ET: 1,643,238 — Total deaths: 97,720 — Total recoveries: 366,736 — Total tested: 14,163,195Map.
  3. World: White House announces travel restrictions on Brazil, coronavirus hotspot in Southern Hemisphere Over 100 coronavirus cases in Germany tied to single day of church services — Boris Johnson backs top aide amid reports that he broke U.K. lockdown while exhibiting symptoms.
  4. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks headed into Memorial Day weekend Report finds "little evidence" coronavirus under control in most statesHurricanes, wildfires, the flu could strain COVID-19 response
  5. Economy: White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Public employees brace for layoffs.
  6. Federal government: Trump attacks a Columbia University study that suggests earlier lockdown could have saved 36,000 American lives.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

President Trump doubled down on his push to reopen schools, tweeting late Sunday: "Schools in our country should be opened ASAP."

Zoom in: Trump pushed back on NIAD Director Anthony Fauci cautioning against the move earlier this month, calling his concerns "not an acceptable answer."