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Vox Sentences: FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe calls it quits

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FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe makes an abrupt exit; the fitness app Strava could be betraying the location of US military members in sensitive locations.

McCabe makes his exit

Pete Marovich/Getty Images
  • FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is stepping down earlier than expected. He was supposed to retire in March, but he announced that he’s leaving now. [Jesse Rodriguez via Twitter]
  • McCabe hasn’t publicly said anything about why he’s leaving now, but he has been the subject of stepped-up attacks from both President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans, as part of larger insinuations that the FBI is biased against the president. [Vox / Zack Beauchamp]
  • The New York Times reported on Monday that McCabe stepped down after pressure from FBI Director Christopher Wray, who suggested demoting McCabe after reading an inspector general report that examined the behavior of some FBI officials during the 2016 campaign. Rather than be demoted, the deputy director instead chose to leave, according to sources close to McCabe. [NYT / Adam Goldman and Matt Apuzzo]
  • The big picture here is that Trump has been going after McCabe relentlessly in recent weeks, both publicly in tweets and privately. Seemingly obsessed with loyalty, Trump reportedly asked McCabe whom he voted for in 2016 and questioned him about his wife, who is a Democrat and ran for office in Virginia. [Washington Post / Ellen Nakashima, Josh Dawsey, and Devlin Barrett]
  • This has accelerated after the discovery of some FBI agents’ anti-Trump text messages from 2016. [Atlantic / David Graham]
  • NBC News reported that the day after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, the president became so enraged at the sight of Comey boarding a government plane that he called up McCabe. [NBC / Carol Lee]
  • In the course of asking McCabe about Comey, Trump managed to get in a personal dig about McCabe’s wife and her unsuccessful run for office in 2015. Trump reportedly suggested to McCabe that he ask his wife how it feels to be a loser. [NBC News / Carol Lee]
  • Today, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the president didn’t factor into McCabe’s choice to step down and that that White House didn’t play a role in the decision. [CNN / Mary Kay Mallonee, Laura Jarrett, Shimon Prokupecz, and Dan Merica]

A fitness app is causing a huge headache for the US military

  • The fitness app Strava could pose a significant security problem for the US military. [NYT / Richard Pérez-Peña and Matthew Rosenberg]
  • Like many other apps, Strava operates by tracking its users’ locations. It recently published a global “heat map” that showed the locations of all its users who had set their status to public. The military is worried this could reveal sensitive information, like the locations of military bases and other operations. [CNN / Joshua Berlinger and Maegan Vazquez]
  • For instance, the heat map showed the locations of some people in places like Syria, Russia, and the Middle East. And now the US military is reviewing its policies on GPS trackers to see whether additional protocol needs to be put in place. [NPR / Bill Chappell]
  • Strava is saying that users can simply opt out of being geotagged in the app, but it’s actually not that easy to do on your phone (opting out on the company’s website is easier). [The Verge / Colin Lecher]


  • There’s been a major spelling snafu on the tickets for the State of the Union (it’s accidentally spelled “uniom”). Until new ones are printed, it looks like the State of our Uniom is in need of an editor. [Politico / Heather Caygle]
  • Elon Musk has sold more than $4 million worth of flamethrowers, but no one is sure what they’re being used for. (Musk suggested roasting nuts. Seriously.) [The Verge / Thuy Ong]
  • Lexington, Kentucky, has become a hot spot for Japanese cuisine. You can thank Toyota for that. [NPR / Ashlie Stevens]
  • Naked mole rats may be scary-looking critters, but they are also the superheroes of their species: age-defying, unable to feel certain types of pain, and able to survive up to 18 minutes without oxygen. It’s really only a matter of time before they take over the world. [Science Magazine / Kai Kupferschmidt]


“It’s true that Costco gets you more for your money, but it seems like the discount is only a secondary pleasure. It’s not the money part that inspires cult-like devotion. It’s the more. The joy of Costco does not lie in thrift. It lies in bulk.” [Emily Mester, on her love for the wholesale retailer / BuzzFeed]

Watch this: The problem with online charter schools

The problem with online charter schools: States are taking a multimillion-dollar gamble on a technology that doesn’t seem to work. [YouTube / Liz Scheltens and Mallory Brangan]

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