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Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats testifies in 2018. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats has hired Shelby Pierson, a career intelligence official, as the first U.S. "elections threats executive within the intelligence community," NPR reports.

Why it matters: FBI Director Christopher A. Wray warned Washington in April about Russia's "continued meddling in American elections" and called it a "significant counterintelligence threat," the NYT reports. In Friday's announcement, Coats said he is directing other agencies to appoint their own elections threat executives.

The state of play: "Trump views any discussion of future Russian interference as effectively questioning the legitimacy of his 2016 victory, prompting senior officials to head off discussions with him," writes the NYT.

  • When former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen grew "increasingly concerned about Russia's continued activity" in the U.S. during the 2018 midterms, acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney "told her not to bring it up in front of the president," per the NYT.

The catch: President Trump has told confidants he's eager to remove Coats from his position, according to 5 sources who discussed the matter directly with the president, Axios' Jonathan Swan reports:

  • Trump would like to "downsize" the ODNI, according to a source with direct knowledge.

Go deeper ... Report: U.S. is underestimating Putin's "grand strategy" for Russian dominance

Go deeper

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
25 mins ago - Health

The barriers to vaccine passports

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Vaccine passports could become available soon to help people resume their livesbut they face numerous scientific, social and political barriers to being accepted.

The big picture: Reliable and accessible proof of vaccine-induced protection from the novel coronavirus could speed international travel and economic reopening, but obstacles to its wide-scale adoption are so great it may never fully arrive.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Senate action on stimulus bill continues as Dems reach deal on jobless aid

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Democratic leaders struck an agreement with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) on emergency unemployment insurance late Friday, clearing the way for Senate action on President Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus package to resume after an hours-long delay.

The state of play: The Senate continued to work through votes on a series of amendments overnight into early Saturday morning.

Capitol review panel recommends more police, mobile fencing

Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

A panel appointed by Congress to review security measures at the Capitol is recommending several changes, including mobile fencing and a bigger Capitol police force, to safeguard the area after a riotous mob breached the building on Jan. 6.

Why it matters: Law enforcement officials have warned there could be new plots to attack the area and target lawmakers, including during a speech President Biden is expected to give to a joint session of Congress.

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