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

Facebook auditors say it's failing on civil rights

The findings from a new civil rights audit commissioned and released by Facebook show that the tech giant repeatedly failed to address issues of hatred, bigotry and manipulation on its platform.

Why it matters: The report comes as Facebook confronts a growing advertiser boycott and criticism for prioritizing freedom of speech over limiting misinformation and protecting users targeted by hate speech.

Keep reading... Show less

Sports in the coronavirus era might need an asterisk

American sports leagues are back, and COVID-permitting, we're finally entering the period of uninterrupted sports bliss we've been anticipating for months.

The question: Given the unusual circumstances, it's worth considering how each season will be remembered years from now. So we pose the question: Do sports in 2020 need an asterisk?

Keep reading... Show less

What China's uneven economic recovery means for the U.S.

Adapted from Institute of International Finance; Chart: Axios Visuals

China and much of Southeast Asia look to be bouncing back strongly from the coronavirus pandemic as stock markets and much of the country's economic data are returning to pre-pandemic levels.

What's happening: "Our tracking points to a clear V-shaped recovery in China," economists at the Institute of International Finance said in a note to clients Tuesday, predicting the country's second-quarter growth will rise above 2% after its worst quarter on record in Q1.

Keep reading... Show less

Chief Justice John Roberts was hospitalized in June after fall

Chief Justice John Roberts was hospitalized overnight after a fall on June 21, a Supreme Court spokesperson confirmed to the Washington Post on Tuesday.

Why it matters: Speculation regarding justices' health — given their lifetime appointments — always runs rampant, and this incident may have not been made public if the Post hadn't "received a tip."

Keep reading... Show less

Congress vs. tech's gang of four

The CEOs of tech's four leading giants will defend their industry's growing concentration of power from critics on both right and left who view them as monopolists when they testify, most likely virtually, before Congress on July 27.

Why it matters: The joint appearance by Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, Apple's Tim Cook, Amazon's Jeff Bezos and Google's Sundar Pichai will mark a historic collision between the leaders of an industry that has changed the world and political leaders who believe those changes have harmed democracy and individual rights.

Keep reading... Show less

As pandemic rages, Trump left without news to rally around

Data: Newswhip; Graphic: Axios Visuals — Note: Hover over the graphic on desktop to see weekly articles and interactions for candidates and issues.

The three topics generating the most intense interest online are the coronavirus, racial injustice and foreign policy, according to data from NewsWhip provided exclusively to Axios — and all are issues that are working against President Trump right now.

Why it matters: Storylines in Trump's populist sweet spot that carried the news cycle for much of his presidency — immigration, trade, a strong economy — have fallen away during the pandemic.

Keep reading... Show less

Coronavirus deaths rising in hotspots like Arizona, Florida and Texas

Data: The COVID Tracking Project; Note: The U.S. daily count had an anomalous spike on June 25 due to New Jersey recording a large number of probable deaths; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Coronavirus deaths are ticking up in the new hotspots of Florida, Texas and Arizona, even as they continue to trend down nationally.

Why it matters: As infections soar, deaths will inevitably follow. And infections are soaring.

Keep reading... Show less

Podcast: Facebook ad boycott organizers speak out on today's meeting with Zuckerberg

Facebook is in the midst of the largest ad boycott in its history, with nearly 1,000 brands having stopped paid advertising in July because they feel Facebook hasn't done enough to remove hate speech from its namesake app and Instagram.

Axios Re:Cap spoke with the boycott's four main organizers, who met on Tuesday with CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other top Facebook executives, to learn why they organized the boycott, what they took from the meeting, and what comes next.

Insights

mail-copy

Get Goodhumans in your inbox

Most Read

More Stories