Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg knows there is pressure on him to testify before Congress and believes he is likely to do so in the coming weeks, according to a source familiar with his thinking. And Facebook has been having conversations with committee staffers for days about setting up a Zuckerberg appearance, a congressional source familiar with the matter told Axios.

Why it matters: This will be a major confrontation between Zuckerberg and his DC critics. The company's data practices have been under scrutiny since it was revealed that the Trump-linked Cambridge Analytica illicitly gathered its users information. It also puts pressure on Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to appear, as well.

CNN reported earlier in the day that the social network founder was anticipating having to face lawmakers.

Yes, but: No committees have said publicly that Zuckerberg is confirmed. Details are important here. That includes what committees Zuckerberg agrees to talk to — three have invited him so far, possibly with more to come — and whether anyone appears alongside on him.

  • Bloomberg reported that he would appear before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on April 12, two days after a hearing that the Senate Judiciary Committee wants Zuckerberg to attend.
  • The House panel's spokesperson, Elena Hernendez, threw some cold water on that report in a statement: "Reports of Mr. Zuckerberg’s confirmed attendance are incorrect. The committee is continuing to work with Facebook to determine a day and time for Mr. Zuckerberg to testify."

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 12,859,834 — Total deaths: 567,123 — Total recoveries — 7,062,085Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 3,297,501— Total deaths: 135,155 — Total recoveries: 1,006,326 — Total tested: 40,282,176Map.
  3. States: Florida smashes single-day record for new coronavirus cases with over 15,000 — NYC reports zero coronavirus deaths for first time since pandemic hit.
  4. Public health: Ex-FDA chief projects "apex" of South's coronavirus curve in 2-3 weeks — Coronavirus testing czar: Lockdowns in hotspots "should be on the table"
  5. Education: Betsy DeVos says schools that don't reopen shouldn't get federal funds — Pelosi accuses Trump of "messing with the health of our children."

Scoop: How the White House is trying to trap leakers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Trump's chief of staff, Mark Meadows, has told several White House staffers he's fed specific nuggets of information to suspected leakers to see if they pass them on to reporters — a trap that would confirm his suspicions. "Meadows told me he was doing that," said one former White House official. "I don't know if it ever worked."

Why it matters: This hunt for leakers has put some White House staffers on edge, with multiple officials telling Axios that Meadows has been unusually vocal about his tactics. So far, he's caught only one person, for a minor leak.

11 GOP congressional nominees support QAnon conspiracy

Lauren Boebert posing in her restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, on April 24. Photo: Emily Kask/AFP

At least 11 Republican congressional nominees have publicly supported or defended the QAnon conspiracy theory movement or some of its tenets — and more aligned with the movement may still find a way onto ballots this year.

Why it matters: Their progress shows how a fringe online forum built on unsubstantiated claims and flagged as a threat by the FBI is seeking a foothold in the U.S. political mainstream.