Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

AP Photo/Matt Rourke

The person who leaked audio of Republicans meeting in Philadelphia snuck in by claiming to be the spouse of an elected official. She was at the retreat for 11 hours before escorted out by Capitol Police. The Congressional Institute, which hosts the event, is trying to figure out who she is.

Here's the e-mail the institute president, Mark Strand, sent to members on the breach:

----------

Dear Member of Congress:

As you are aware, digital recordings from the national security, health care, and Vice President Pence meetings were anonymously leaked to several media outlets, including The Washington Post. We believe these recordings were audio only, rather than video. The Congressional Institute is continuing to investigate this breach in order to fully understand how it happened and to ensure it does not happen again.

While a number of unanswered questions remain, here is what we currently know:

  • An unauthorized person infiltrated the congressional retreat on Thursday, between the hours of 7:30 am and 6:30 pm
  • She misrepresented herself on multiple occasions to retreat organizers as the spouse of an elected official;
  • She was able to gain access using counterfeit credentials;
  • She entered the event through the same security checkpoints as every other attendee (i.e. magnetometers, police checkpoints, etc.);
  • She was escorted from the event at about 6:30 pm. We are working closely with Capitol Police to ascertain the identity of the woman in question.

As we learn new information we will share it with you. In the meantime, we have already initiated efforts to develop new security protocols in order to better protect the internal-nature of these meetings moving forward.We are honored to host the annual retreat each year and apologize for this situation. Please do not hesitate to directly contact me if you have additional questions or need information. Mark Strand

----------

Why this matters: Skulduggery aside, one thing that has plagued House Republicans is leaks from conference meetings and other supposedly confidential events. It's a long-running problem and breaks down trust and open conversation. Members will be much less likely to say anything in meetings if they think it will be leaked or maybe even recorded. That's makes it very difficult to get anything constructive done.

Update: Statement from House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers: "Leaks from internal member discussions are unacceptable. I'm pleased to learn the Congressional Institute, who organizes the annual retreat, will work closely with the Capitol Police and Sergeant at Arms to get to the bottom of this serious breach, as these conversations are intended to allow members to candidly discuss how to address the issues facing the American people."

Go deeper

Focus group: Former Trump voters say he should never hold office again

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

"Relief" is the top emotion some swing voters who used to support Donald Trump say they felt as they watched President Biden's swearing-in, followed by "hope."

Why it matters: For voters on the bubble between parties, this moment is less about excitement for Biden or liberal politics than exhaustion and disgust with Trump and a craving for national healing. Most said Trump should be prohibited from ever holding office again.

Updated 13 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Politics: Biden unveils "wartime" COVID strategyBiden's COVID-19 bubble.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong to put tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.

Trump impeachment trial to start week of Feb. 8, Schumer says

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: The Washington Post via Getty

The Senate will begin former President Trump's impeachment trial the week of Feb. 8, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Friday on the Senate floor.

The state of play: Schumer announced the schedule after reaching an agreement with Republicans. The House will transmit the article of impeachment against the former president late Monday.

You’ve caught up. Now what?

Sign up for Mike Allen’s daily Axios AM and PM newsletters to get smarter, faster on the news that matters.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!