Jun 8, 2017

White House's likely attack strategy: Comey as "leaker"

Alex Brandon / AP

White House sources were thrilled when Comey admitted he authorized his close friend to release his private memo to the New York Times. Watch for the White House — or more likely its outside surrogates — to relentlessly attack Comey as a "leaker."

Behind-the-scenes: The mood inside the West Wing appears to be relaxed if not upbeat after the James Comey hearing, according to five sources with direct knowledge. Staff is in "good spirits" and Trump is "happy," said one source, who was also relieved Trump didn't tweet during the hearing. White House staff have become so acclimatized bad news have taken to asking reporters "how bad do you think this is on a scale of one to ten?" when a new story breaks.

While a number of people inside the West Wing have been concerned about Trump's private conduct with the former FBI director — not to mention the damage to Trump's credibility, with Republican leaders refusing to support the President's accusation that Comey is a liar — there is broad relief that Comey has publicly said that Trump is not under investigation. Beyond that, the West Wing fears special counsel Robert Mueller more than Comey.

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Hungary's Viktor Orbán granted sweeping powers amid coronavirus crisis

Viktor Orbán. Photo: Michal Cizek/AFP via Getty Images

Hungary's parliament passed a law Monday to allow Prime Minister Viktor Orbán almost unlimited power, for an indefinite period, to fight the coronavirus outbreak.

Why it matters: Hungary has taken a sharply authoritarian turn over the past decade under Orbán, and its likely that he and other strongman leaders around the world will seek to maintain powers they gain during the current crisis long after it's over.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 a.m. ET: 737,929 — Total deaths: 35,019 — Total recoveries: 156,507.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 a.m. ET: 143,055 — Total deaths: 2,513 — Total recoveries: 4,865.
  3. Federal government latest: The White House will extend its social distancing guidelines until April 30.
  4. Trump latest: The president brushed aside allegations that China is spreading misinformation about the origin of the coronavirus on "Fox & Friends."
  5. Business updates: Americans are calm about their retirement savings despite coronavirus fallout.
  6. World updates: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will self-isolate after an aide tested positive for coronavirus.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

BIG3 to create a hybrid reality show about quarantine basketball

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Sports are on pause, and there's no timetable for their return. In the interim, leagues, teams and athletes are getting creative with ways to keep fans engaged.

The latest: A "quarantined reality show basketball tournament," courtesy of the BIG3, the upstart 3-on-3 basketball league founded by Ice Cube and his longtime business partner Jeff Kwatinetz.

Go deeperArrow36 mins ago - Sports