Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Nashville news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Nashville newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Columbus news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Columbus newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Dallas news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Dallas newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Alex Brandon / AP

Details are being filled in on how and why President Trump decided to fire James Comey:

  • Washington Post: Trump was "increasingly agitated" by Comey's statements drawing attention to the Russia probe, "angry" that Comey wouldn't investigate leaks or his wiretapping claims and had "long questioned Comey's loyalty and judgement."
  • NY Times: Trump openly talked about firing Comey for a week — eventually coming up with a plan while watching the Sunday shows at Bedminster. Pence, McGahn and Kushner were on board, Priebus and Bannon more resistant.
  • CNN's Jake Tapper: "Comey's refusal to provide the president of any sort of assurance of personal loyalty," and his acceleration of the Russia probe.
  • WSJ: Beginning about three weeks ago, Comey started receiving daily instead of weekly updates on the Russia investigation as he became increasingly "concerned by information showing possible evidence of collusion."
  • Axios' Jonathan Swan: This was a POTUS-driven decision. Staff had almost zero impact, and the vast majority learned about it on TV.

Full coverage: Comey's farewell letter, the Russia probes, Flynn subpoenas, where the staff stood, money laundering investigated, Russia/Trump links, Schumer on prosecutor, Comey invited to testify, bizarre scenes, the WH scramble.

Quick hits
  • Trump is "white hot" with anger about how this is playing out, per CNN's John King.
  • White House released a new timeline, saying Trump was inclined to fire Comey after watching his Russia testimony last week.
  • Comey was invited to testify in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is investigating Russia's meddling in the 2016 election, on Tuesday.
  • Comey reportedly asked for more resources for the Russia investigation days before he was fired.
  • Comey wrote a letter thanking FBI staff and saying he wouldn't dwell on Trump's decision.

Potential replacementsNBC was given a list of the following names to replace Comey:Andrew McCabe, deputy AG and current acting FBI directorWilliam Evanina, Office of Director of National IntelligenceAdam Lee, the Special Agent in Charge in Richmond, Va. officeMichael Anderson, the Special Agent in Charge in ChicagoPaul Abbate, FBI Executive Assistant Director for the Criminal, Cyber, Response and Services BranchWhite House confusion

Axios' Jonathan Swan learned that some admin. officials, including fairly senior-level officials, were confused by the news. White House officials and Trump confidants felt exposed and vulnerable. They didn't have the information, the preparation, the tools, to defend the President. "It's insane. The whole thing is just insane," one WH official told Swan.

The Atlantic's Rosie Gray and McCay Coppins learned more about those who did know what was coming. One senior administration official told them everyone in the know was preparing for a fight from the fallout. And although many observers were baffled by the way it was handled, Gray and Coppins point out "this president has never been one to glide above the fray. ... He invites conflict at every turn; visits scandal with more scandal; and deliberately, relentlessly, heightens the various dramas that surround him."

Paul Ryan stays loyal

"Most importantly, he lost the confidence of the president," Ryan said Wednesday evening. He waited nearly a full 24 hours after Comey's firing to make a public statement on the issue, which he called "no small thing, and quite a serious matter."

This was "building for months"

Reuters reports that Trump's anger with Comey had been a long time coming. WH officials told Reuters' Steve Holland and Jeff Mason that "a turning point came when Comey refused to preview for top Trump aides his planned testimony to a Senate panel." They wanted to know Comey's narrative for his May 3 Senate hearing on how he handled the investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails; he refused, Trump considered that an act of insubordination.

The Russia investigation

FBI and admin. officials gave NBC and Politico another reason for Comey's termination: he wouldn't let go of the Russia investigation. Two WH advisers told Politico that Trump "had grown enraged by the Russia investigation, frustrated by his inability to control the mushrooming narrative around Russia. He repeatedly asked aides why the Russia investigation wouldn't disappear and demanded they speak out for him." Another adviser said that at times, Trump would "scream at television clips about the probe."

Go deeper

Biden rejects Trump's latest executive privilege claims

Photo: Jim Watson and Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The White House on Monday rejected two more of former President Trump's claims of executive privilege over documents that the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot requested, CNN first reported.

Why it matters: Trump's legal team is seeking to block some of the panel's requests for records by invoking executive privilege, which can allow presidents and their aides to sidestep congressional scrutiny. The Biden administration has maintained that it will evaluate on a case-by-case basis.

Amazon warehouse workers in New York file petition to hold unionization vote

Amazon workers and their supporters rally outside the National Labor Relations Board's regional office in Brooklyn, New York City, after filing a petition requesting an election to form a union. Photo: Gabby Jones/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Amazon warehouse workers in New York City filed a petition on Monday with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to hold a vote on unionization.

Why it matters: The move comes six months after an organizing effort was defeated at Amazon's distribution center in Alabama.

Updated 1 hour ago - World

U.S. freezes aid to Sudan over military coup

Protesting the coup in Khartoum. Photo: AFP via Getty

The Biden administration froze a $700 million aid package to Sudan after a military coup on Monday threatened to end the country's transition toward democracy.

Driving the news: At least three protesters have been killed and dozens wounded in the chaotic scenes that followed the announcements from Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the head of Sudan's ruling council, dissolving the government and declaring a state of emergency.