Feb 10, 2017

Flynn faces a gusher of leaks on Russia call

The Washington Post and the New York Times are out with new stories contradicting National Security Adviser Michael Flynn's claim that he didn't talk sanctions during his Russia phone call back in December. Details:

  • WaPo cites 9 former and current officials in a position to know: "All of those officials said ­Flynn's references to the election-related sanctions were explicit."
  • NYT: "The officials said that Mr. Flynn had never made explicit promises of sanctions relief, but that he had appeared to leave the impression it would be possible."
  • Flynn's shifting denials: Flynn told WaPo twice on Wednesday that he didn't discuss sanctions. On Thursday, a spokesman said while "[Flynn] had no recollection of discussing sanctions, he couldn't be certain that the topic never came up."
  • The FBI is still investigating Flynn: But a case against him remains unlikely. The Logan Act has never been prosecuted.

Go deeper

America's dwindling executions

The Trump administration wants to reboot federal executions, pointing to a 16-year lapse, but Pew Research reports the government has only executed three people since 1963.

The big picture: Nearly all executions in the U.S. are done by states. Even those have been steadily dropping for two decades, per the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) — marking a downward trend for all executions in the country.

Top NSC official may be moved after "Anonymous" rumor fallout

President Trump at the Daytona 500. (Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Top Trump administration officials are in discussions to reassign deputy national security adviser Victoria Coates to the Department of Energy from the National Security Council, per two sources familiar with the planning.

Why it matters: Coates' working relationship with National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien, who elevated her to the deputy role only months ago, has strained amid an effort by some people inside the administration to tag her as "Anonymous" — a charge she has vehemently denied to colleagues.

Jeff Bezos commits $10 billion for climate change research

Bezos at Amazon Smbhav in New Delhi on Jan. 15. Photo: Sajjad Hussain/AFP via Getty Images

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced the launch of his "Earth Fund" on Monday via Instagram to fund climate change research and awareness.

What he's saying: Bezos says he's initially committing $10 billion to fund "scientists, activists, and NGOS" that are working on environmental preservation and protection efforts.