Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Photo: Mohammed Al-Shaikh/AFP/Getty Images

The CEO of an Israeli company being sued over journalist Jamal Khashoggi's death told "60 Minutes" Sunday it wasn't involved in his "terrible murder" — but he wouldn't comment on reports he sold spyware to the Saudis allegedly linked to the killing.

The details: NSO Group's Pegasus technology is designed to hack most smartphones. CBS journalist Lesley Stahl put it to NSO CEO Shalev Hulio it was reported he went to Saudi Arabia's capital Riyadh to personally sell the Pegasus phone surveillance software to the Saudis for $55 million. Hulio replied: "I'm not gonna talk about specific customer."

What they’re saying: Stahl pressed Hulio, asking him to clarify that he wouldn't and hadn't sold Pegasus to a country "that is known to violate human rights and imprison journalists and go after activists." "I only say that we are selling Pegasus in order to prevent crime and terror," he replied.

The big picture: NSO has previously been accused of the Pegasus software it licenses being used in targeted attacks against activists and journalists, but the alleged link to the death of Washington Post columnist Khashoggi is the most high-profile case. A Saudi dissident who lives in exile in Canada alleged in the suit in December his communications with Khashoggi were monitored by Saudi Arabia using NSO software.

The other side: NSO called the suit "completely unfounded," saying there was "no evidence that the company’s technology was used," the AP reported at the time.

  • On Sunday, Hulio told Stahl the Pegasus software had saved tens of thousands of people.
  • A Western European intelligence told "60 Minutes" Pegaus was "a game-changer in foiling attacks by European Jihadists, as well as shutting down drug and human trafficking ring."

Go deeper

36 mins ago - Politics & Policy

McConnell drops filibuster demand, paving way for power-sharing deal

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (R) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell attend a joint session of Congress. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has abandoned his demand that Democrats state, in writing, that they would not abandon the legislative filibuster.

Between the lines: McConnell was never going to agree to a 50-50 power sharing deal without putting up a fight over keeping the 60-vote threshold. But the minority leader ultimately caved after it became clear that delaying the organizing resolution was no longer feasible.

2 hours ago - Technology

Scoop: Google won't donate to members of Congress who voted against election results

Sen. Ted Cruz led the group of Republicans who opposed certifying the results. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Google will not make contributions from its political action committee this cycle to any member of Congress who voted against certifying the results of the presidential election, following the deadly Capitol riot.

Why it matters: Several major businesses paused or pulled political donations following the events of Jan. 6, when pro-Trump rioters, riled up by former President Trump, stormed the Capitol on the day it was to certify the election results.

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Minority Mitch still setting Senate agenda

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Chuck Schumer may be majority leader, yet in many ways, Mitch McConnell is still running the Senate show — and his counterpart is about done with it.

Why it matters: McConnell rolled over Democrats unapologetically, and kept tight control over his fellow Republicans, while in the majority. But he's showing equal skill as minority leader, using political jiujitsu to convert a perceived weakness into strength.