Apr 11, 2018

Former National Security Council aide hired as Sessions adviser

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.

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Bernie's juggernaut

Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks in San Antonio last night with his wife, Jane. Photo: Eric Gay/AP

Sen. Bernie Sanders won so big in the Nevada caucuses that Democrats are hard-pressed to sketch a way he's not their nominee.

Driving the news: With 60% of precincts counted (slow, but better than Iowa!), Sanders is running away with 46% of delegates — crushing Joe Biden's 20%, Pete Buttigieg's 15%, Sen. Elizabeth Warren's 10% and Sen. Amy Klobuchar's 5%.

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Buttigieg campaign claims Nevada caucuses were "plagued with errors"

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Pete Buttigieg's campaign wrote a letter on Sunday asking the Nevada State Democratic Party to release early vote and in-person vote totals by precinct and address certain caucus errors identified by campaigns, The Nevada Independent reports.

The big picture: The campaign alleges that the process of integrating early votes on caucus day was “plagued with errors and inconsistencies,” and says it received more than 200 incident reports from precincts around the state.

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Coronavirus threat grows, threatening some drug supplies

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

As the novel coronavirus continues spreading globally and China grapples with a limited production capability, there's a growing risk to about 150 prescription drugs in the U.S., sources tell Axios.

The big picture: The coronavirus has spread to more countries, with both South Korea and Italy stepping up emergency measures amid rising case numbers on Sunday. COVID-19 has killed at least 2,467 people and infected almost 79,000 others, mostly in mainland China.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 hours ago - Health