Photo: Nicholas Kamm / AFP via Getty Images

Ezra Cohen, who resigned under pressure from H.R. McMaster’s National Security Council, is returning to government as Attorney General Jeff Sessions' national security adviser — a decision that has been in the works for months, according to a source familiar with Cohen's thinking. TPM first reported the move.

Why it matters: Some have interpreted Cohen’s return to the administration as tied to John Bolton coming in. It’s not. Cohen has his own relationship with Sessions, who specifically recognized Cohen when he saw him in the crowd during a speech in Philadelphia in February.

In his new position Cohen will focus on counter intelligence and strengthening the U.S.'s posture toward countries like Russia, China and Iran, according to someone familiar with Cohen's thinking.

The backstory:

  • Cohen was accused of providing Rep. Devin Nunes with the infamous intelligence reports on the Obama administration's alleged FISA abuses, although he denies that claim and the New York Times reported he didn’t hand the intelligence to Nunes. A person close to him said Cohen would have advised against giving the report to Congress.
  • Cohen entered the National Security Council under Trump's first NSA, Michael Flynn.
  • He resigned under pressure from Flynn successor H.R. McMaster in August.
  • Discussions around Cohen's placement in the Justice Department began long before John Bolton replaced McMaster.
  • Cohen then worked at Oracle. While Oracle CEO Safra Catz recently met with the president at the White House, sources close to Cohen say that this had been in the works long before then.

Correction: Cohen resigned under pressure. He was not fired.

Go deeper

Misinformation thrives on social media ahead of presidential debate

Joe Biden speaking in Wilmington, Delaware, on Sept. 27. Photo: Roberto Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images

A baseless conspiracy theory that Joe Biden would wear an electronic device in his ear during the first presidential debate on Tuesday went viral on social media hours before the event.

Why it matters: The conspiracy originated on social media before appearing in a text message sent by President Trump’s re-election campaign to supporters. It was then regurgitated by media outlets like Fox News and New York Post, who cited the Trump campaign, throughout the day, according to NBC News.

Appeals court upholds six-day extension for counting Wisconsin ballots

Photo: Derek R. Henkle/AFP via Getty Images

A federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld a lower court ruling that extended the deadline for counting mail-in ballots in Wisconsin until Nov. 9 as long as they are postmarked by the Nov. 3 election, AP reports.

Why it matters: It's a big win for Democrats that also means that the winner of Wisconsin, a key presidential swing state, may not be known for six days after the election. Republicans are likely to appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court, as the Pennsylvania GOP did after a similar ruling on Monday.

Go deeper: How the Supreme Court could decide the election

Updated 37 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 33,489,205 — Total deaths: 1,004,278 — Total recoveries: 23,243,613Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m ET: 7,183,367 — Total deaths: 205,883 — Total recoveries: 2,794,608 — Total tests: 102,342,416Map.
  3. Health: Americans won't take Trump's word on the vaccine, Axios-Ipsos poll finds.
  4. States: NYC's coronavirus positivity rate spikes to highest since June.
  5. Sports: Tennessee Titans close facility amid NFL's first coronavirus outbreak.
  6. World: U.K. beats previous record for new coronavirus cases.
  7. Work: United States of burnout — Asian American unemployment spikes amid pandemic

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