Jan 5, 2017

Answers to our questions before Senate's Russia hearing

1) We know John McCain and Lindsey Graham had lots to say. Did anyone challenge the intel community?

No, for the most part. With the exception of a pair of critiques from McCain and Tom Cotton, the majority opinion among the committee was that the new trend of questioning the credibility of the intel community is unfair.

2) News on the hacks: Did we see new evidence from the intel community today?

No. Clapper revealed that the intelligence community will release an unclassified report next week, saying "our assessment now is even more resolute" that the Russians carried out the attack on the election.

3) Did the words "Donald Trump" come into the discussion?

Yes. Claire McCaskill asked "who benefits from a president-elect trashing the intelligence community?" Clapper said he's received "many expressions of concern" from foreign counterparts about those attacks.

What's next: President Obama is being briefed today on the full, classified report. Trump will get an identical briefing on Friday.

Go deeper

Palantir CEO reflects on work with ICE

Palantir CEO Alex Karp told "Axios on HBO" that there have "absolutely" been moments he wished the company hadn't taken a contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

  • "Did I suffer? ... I've had some of my favorite employees leave," Karp told "Axios on HBO."

Michigan governor won't apologize for coronavirus lockdown

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer defended the strictness of her state's coronavirus lockdown in an interview with "Axios on HBO," saying it was necessary — despite the protests that have drawn national attention — because of how quickly the state's cases were rising.

The big picture: Whitmer, who has been a frequent target of President Trump, insisted that she had to act in the face of a lack of federal leadership — and that thousands more people in her state would have died without the lockdown.

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand now has only one novel coronavirus patient in hospital and just 22 active cases in the country, top health official Ashley Bloomfield confirmed at a briefing. He's "confident we have broken the chain of domestic transmission," with no new cases reported for most of May, he added.

By the numbers: Brazil on Monday recorded for the first time more deaths from the novel coronavirus in a single day than the United States, Reuters notes. Brazil reported 807 deaths from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, compared to 620 in the U.S. for the same period.