Show an ad over header. AMP

Top House Democrats say intel briefing showed Russia bounty allegations are not a "hoax"

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said Tuesday at a press conference that, after receiving a White House briefing, he sees no indication that the intelligence surrounding allegations that Russian operatives paid bounties to Taliban-linked militants to kill U.S. troops is a "hoax" — as President Trump has suggested.

What he's saying: "The president called this a hoax publicly. Nothing in the briefing that we have just received led me to believe it is a hoax. There may be different judgments as to the level of credibility, but there was no assertion that the information we had was a hoax."


The big picture: Hoyer suggested that the White House briefing did not include direct perspectives from the intelligence community, and reiterated his call for the Trump administration to provide a full briefing to House members.

  • "I would have preferred the briefing ... had been given by intel personnel, either from CIA — director [Gina] Haspel in particular — or NSA so that we would have the direct evidence and discussion from the intelligence community as to how credible they assessed the information," Hoyer said.
  • "I thought this briefing was the White House personnel telling us their perspective. I think we knew the White House perspective. What we need to know is the intelligence perspective."

House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) also insisted that "the right people to give the briefing really were not in the room," and rebuked Trump for not assuring the public that he will "get to the bottom" of "whether Russians are putting bounties on the heads of American troops."

  • "I do not understand for a moment why the president isn't saying this to the American people right now and is relying on, 'I don't know, I haven't heard, I haven't been briefed.' That's just not excusable. His responsibility as commander in chief is to protect our troops," Schiff said.
  • "And I shared the concern at the White House today that I think many of us have, which is there may be a reluctance to brief the president on things he doesn't want to hear, and that may be more true with respect to Putin and Putin's Russia than with respect to any other subject matter."

The other side: National security adviser Robert O'Brien said in a statement Tuesday, "Because the allegations in recent press articles have not been verified or substantiated by the Intelligence Community, President Trump had not been briefed on the items."

  • "Nevertheless, the Administration, including the National Security Council staff, have been preparing should the situation warrant action."

Go deeper: GOP senator demands accountability over reports of Russian bounties on U.S. troops

Most Senate Republicans join Rand Paul effort to dismiss Trump's 2nd impeachment trial

Forty-five Senate Republicans, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, joined Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Tuesday in an effort to dismiss former President Trump's second impeachment trial.

Why it matters: The vote serves as a precursor to how senators will approach next month's impeachment trial. The House impeached Trump for a second time for "incitement of insurrection" following events from Jan 6. when a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol.

Keep reading... Show less

Texas judge temporarily halts Biden's 100-day deportation freeze

A federal judge in Texas has temporarily blocked the Biden administration's 100-day freeze on deporting unauthorized immigrants.

Why it matters: Biden has set an ambitious immigration agenda, but could face pushback from the courts.

Keep reading... Show less

Reddit is running Wall Street

Wall Street is locked in a battle of will between professional investors who live in Greenwich and amateur investors who congregate on Reddit. So far, the amateurs are winning, judging by increases in their chosen stocks, like GameStop and Bed, Bath & Beyond.

Axios Re:Cap goes deeper into what's really happening, the mechanics of stock "shorting" and what it means for the markets' future, with Axios chief financial correspondent Felix Salmon.

Biden holds first phone call with Putin, raises Navalny arrest

President Biden on Tuesday held his first call since taking office with Vladimir Putin, pressing the Russian president on the arrest of opposition leader Alexey Navalny and the Russia-linked hack on U.S. government agencies, AP reports.

The state of play: Biden also planned to raise arms control, bounties allegedly placed on U.S. troops in Afghanistan and the war in Ukraine, according to White House press secretary Jen Psaki, who said the call took place while she was delivering a press briefing. Psaki added that a full readout will be provided later Tuesday.

Keep reading... Show less

Biden signs executive order ending new contracts with private prisons

President Joe Biden on Wednesday signed executive orders on housing and ending the federal government's use of private prisons as part of what the White House is calling his “racial equity agenda.”

The big picture: Biden needs the support of Congress to push through police reform or new voting rights legislation. The executive orders serve as his down payment to immediately address systemic racism while he focuses on the pandemic.

Keep reading... Show less

Senate confirms Antony Blinken as secretary of state

The Senate voted 78-22 on Tuesday to confirm Antony Blinken as secretary of state.

Why it matters: Blinken, a longtime adviser to President Biden, will lead the administration's diplomatic efforts to re-engage with the world after four years of former President Trump's "America first" policy.

Keep reading... Show less

Former Google CEO and others call for U.S.-China tech "bifurcation"

A new set of proposals by a group of influential D.C. insiders and tech industry practitioners calling for a degree of "bifurcation" in the U.S. and Chinese tech sectors is circulating in the Biden administration. Axios has obtained a copy.

Why it matters: The idea of "decoupling" certain sectors of the U.S. and Chinese economies felt radical three years ago, when Trump's trade war brought the term into common parlance. But now the strategy has growing bipartisan and even industry support.

Keep reading... Show less

Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post editor Marty Baron retires

Martin Baron, executive editor of the Washington Post and recipient of multiple Pulitzer Prizes over the course of his career, announced his retirement on Tuesday.

Why it matters, via Axios' Sara Fischer:Baron spearheaded Spotlight, the Boston Globe's investigation into attempts by the Catholic Church to cover-up sexual abuse, and oversaw the Post's editorial transformation under Amazon founder Jeff Bezos — turning it from a regional paper into a national brand.

Keep reading... Show less

Insights

mail-copy

Get Goodhumans in your inbox

Most Read

More Stories