Jul 23, 2018

Report: Intel officials may know what Trump, Putin discussed in meeting

Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

It’s possible that some intelligence officials at the CIA and NSA know what President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed in their one-on-one meeting in Helsinki, thanks to the existence of a highly classified intelligence service that taps adversaries' communications, reports Politico’s Josh Meyer.

Why it matters: Sources told Meyer that the service, known as the Special Collection Service or “STATEROOM,” likely picked up Russia's readout of the conversation as well as top Kremlin officials' analysis on the meeting. This puts the U.S. intelligence community at less of a disadvantage than public statements may have initially suggested.

  • Trump's Director of National Intelligence, Dan Coats, has said he has had limited visibility into what was discussed. And the White House has been on the defensive about the substance of the conversation, including over a referendum in Ukraine and whether the U.S. would allow Russians to question a former U.S. Ambassador.
  • Meanwhile, some lawmakers have been so concerned about what happened behind closed doors that they have called on Trump's translator, Marina Gross, to testify before Congress.

Be smart: Given this top-secret service specializes in tapping into adversaries' communications, U.S. intel agencies may only know the Russian side of the story. The service is also unlikely to provide a word-for-word understanding of the meeting, Meyer writes.

Go deeper

Updated 29 mins ago - Politics & Policy

In photos: Protests over George Floyd's death grip Minneapolis

Protesters cheer as the Third Police Precinct burns behind them on in Minneapolis on Thursday night. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Cheering protesters set a Minneapolis police station on fire Thursday night in the third night of unrest following the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody in the city, per AP.

The state of play: Minnesota's governor on Thursday activated the state's national guard following violent outbreaks throughout the week, as the nation waits to see if the officers involved will be charged with murder.

Updated 5 hours ago - Health

World coronavirus updates

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

New Zealand has a single novel coronavirus case after reporting a week of no new infections, the Ministry of Health confirmed on Friday local time.

By the numbers: Nearly 6 million people have tested positive for COVID-19 and over 2.3 million have recovered from the virus. Over 357,000 people have died globally. The U.S. has reported the most cases in the world with over 1.6 million.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8:30 p.m. ET: 5,803,416 — Total deaths: 359,791 — Total recoveries — 2,413,576Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8:30 p.m. ET: 1,720,613 — Total deaths: 101,573 — Total recoveries: 399,991 — Total tested: 15,646,041Map.
  3. Public health: The mystery of coronavirus superspreaders.
  4. Congress: Pelosi slams McConnell on stimulus delay — Sen. Tim Kaine and wife test positive for coronavirus antibodies.
  5. World: Twitter slapped a fact-check label on a pair of months-old tweets from a Chinese government spokesperson that falsely suggested that the coronavirus originated in the U.S.
  6. 2020: The RNC has issued their proposed safety guidelines for its planned convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.
  7. Axios on HBO: Science fiction writers tell us how they see the coronavirus pandemic.
  8. 🏃‍♀️Sports: Boston Marathon canceled after initial postponement, asks runners to go virtual.
  9. What should I do? When you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus — Traveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  10. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.