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Jacquelyn Martin / AP

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats told the Senate Armed Services Committee this morning that he doesn't "feel it's appropriate to characterize [his] discussions with the president" after being asked about yesterday's reports that President Trump had asked him to publicly refute the possibility of the Trump campaign's collusion with Russia.

What he did say: Coats stated that he "made clear" to the White House that any "political shaping" of his position would be inappropriate. Additionally, he stated that he was unaware of the Trump administration reaching out to any other intel officials.

Another thing: Coats told the committee that he's been traveling and hasn't had a chance to discuss Trump's apparent disclosure of Israeli intel to Russian officials directly with the president yet.

The real purpose of the hearing was for Coats to provide an update on worldwide threats to the United States.

  • Manchester: "ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack in Manchester…we have not verified, yet, the connection." Coats also referred to yesterday's bombing as a "suicide attack."
  • North Korea: The nation is nuclear but has "demonstrated capabilities short of an ICBM at this point in time."
  • Iran: The nuclear deal has "extended" its development time for a nuclear bomb "from a few months to about a year."
  • Russia and the U.S.: It will be "more unpredictable in its approach to the United States" as it continues to attempt to undermine democratic institutions around the world.
  • Russia and the Middle East: It wants to use its presence in Syria and the worldwide fear of ISIS to expand its influence across the Middle East.

Go deeper

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds — Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day — The pandemic-proof health care giant.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies — Federal judge blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for federal workers.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults.
  5. Variant tracker

Arizona governor sues Biden administration over COVID funds tied to mandates

A teacher prepares a hallway barrier to help students maintain social distancing at John B. Wright Elementary School in Tucson, Arizona, on Aug. 14, 2020. Photo: Cheney Orr/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) filed a lawsuit Friday against the Biden administration for ordering the state to stop allocating federal COVID relief funds to schools that don't comply with public health recommendations such as masking, the Arizona Republic reports.

Why it matters: The Treasury Department said last week that the state would have to pay back the money if Ducey does not redesignate the $173 million programs to ensure they don't "undermine efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19."

Federal judge blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for federal workers

President Biden speaking from Eisenhower Executive Office Building on Jan. 21. Photo: Yuri Gripas/Abaca/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A federal judge in Texas blocked the Biden administration from enforcing its coronavirus vaccine mandate for federal workers on Friday, citing the outcome of last week's Supreme Court ruling that nullified the administration's vaccine-or-test requirement for large employers.

Why it matters: It's a blow to President Biden's efforts to increase the U.S.' vaccination rates, though much of the federal workforce has already been vaccinated against the virus.