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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.

Go deeper

Senate confirms Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo as commerce secretary

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo (D). Photo: David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The Senate voted 84-15 on Tuesday to confirm Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo to lead the Commerce Department.

Why it matters: The agency promotes U.S. industry, oversees the Census Bureau, plays a key role in the government's study of climate change through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and evaluates emerging technology through the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Updated 46 mins ago - Politics & Policy

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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

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  3. Vaccine: J&J CEO "absolutely" confident in vaccine distribution goals — Vaccine hesitancy is shrinking.
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  6. Local: Florida gets more good vaccine newsMinnesota's hunger problem grows amid pandemic — Denver's fitness industry eyes a pandemic recovery.

Supreme Court likely to favor Republican-backed Arizona voting laws

A person walking outside of the Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 22.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday appeared to favor Republican-backed voting restrictions in Arizona that Democrats argue violate the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: The Justices' decision in the case could weaken Section 2 of the VRA, which prohibits voting practices or procedures that discriminate on the basis of race.