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Why it matters: Schiff serves as ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee, which voted Monday to release a controversial FISA memo written by chairman Devin Nunes. Last night after the State of the Union address, TV cameras caught President Trump telling Rep. Jeff Duncan that he "100 percent" supports releasing the memo.

Highlights:

  • On the Nunes memo: "When I asked to have FBI officials come in to talk about the memo's lack of context, sources and methods, and underlying documents, GOP members voted on party lines against being informed ... This is not about the facts. This is about a misleading narrative that the chairman wants to put out to undermine the FBI and Robert Mueller."
  • Schiff's last-minute appearance: Schiff was able to join today's Axios News Makers since Steve Bannon’s appearance in front of the House Intelligence Committee was postponed. The hearing will remain delayed while Bannon's counsel coordinates his invocation of executive privilege with White House lawyers.
    • “There may be a limited and specific executive privilege for certain conversations with [the president] ... but refusal to talk about a whole period is unprecedented,” Schiff said.
  • The likelihood of a constitutional crisis: "I'm not sure, but what the House is doing right now makes it more likely, not less."
  • Facebook, Twitter and Google's cooperation: "I wouldn't say they've been fully cooperative ... Facebook executives committed to providing us with redacted ads after they were scrubbed of personal identifying information. That still hasn’t happened."

Go deeper

Fed chair says low interest rates aren't driving stock market prices

Jerome Powell. Photo: ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / Getty Images

Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell told reporters on Wednesday that rock-bottom interest rates aren't playing a role in driving stock prices higher, while noting that vulnerabilities to the financial system are "moderate."

Why it matters: The statement comes amid unshakeable stock prices and a Reddit-fueled market frenzy — prompting widespread fears of a bubble and the role monetary policy has played in that.

2 hours ago - World

Biden freezes U.S. arms deals with Saudi Arabia and UAE

Trump struck several large arms deals with Mohammed bin Salman (L) and Saudi Arabia. Photo: Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images

The Biden administration has put on hold two big arms deals with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates which were approved in the final weeks of the Trump administration, a State Department official tells Axios.

Why it matters: The sales of F-35 jets and attack drones to the UAE and a large supply of munitions to Saudi Arabia will be paused pending a review. That signals a major policy shift from the Trump era, and may herald sharp tensions with both Gulf countries.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
2 hours ago - Podcasts

Robert Downey Jr. launches VC funds to help save the planet

Robert Downey Jr. on Wednesday announced the launch of two venture capital funds focused on startups in the sustainability sector, the latest evolution of a project he launched two years ago called Footprint Coalition.

Between the lines: This is a bit of life imitating art, as Downey Jr. spent 11 films portraying a character who sought to save the planet (or, in some cases, the universe).