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!

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

House Homeland Security Committee Chair Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) on Friday subpoenaed Chad Wolf, citing the DHS acting secretary's refusal to appear at a hearing next week on global threats.

Driving the news: A DHS official said it would be "inappropriate" for Wolf to appear at the Sept. 17 hearing due to his then-pending nomination for secretary of homeland security, per a letter to the panel earlier this week. The agency offered acting deputy secretary Ken Cuccinelli to be present instead.

What they're saying: "Mr. Wolf's refusal to testify —thereby evading congressional oversight at this critical time — is especially troubling given the serious matters facing the Department and the Nation," Thompson said in a statement.

  • "Nineteen years after the attacks of 9/11, we continue to face grave threats to the homeland. From the coronavirus pandemic to the rise of right-wing extremism to ongoing election interference, there are urgent threats requiring our attention," he added.
  • "The Committee has not only the authority, but also an obligation to execute its Constitutional oversight responsibilities regarding Mr. Wolf's decision and the Department's actions in securing the homeland. As Chairman, I intend to ensure the Committee fulfills that responsibility."

The other side: Appearing on Fox News on Friday night, Wolf said he was "disappointed" by the subpoena.

  • "There's been longstanding practice that as you go up for a nomination, that you don't testify on other matters," Wolf said.
  • "We have offered the No. 2 at the Department of Homeland Security to testify in my place. And if not, then I’m happy to testify to the committee once my confirmation goes through one way or the other."

Worth noting: The House and Senate Intelligence Committees are investigating DHS based on a former senior officials' whistleblower complaint who alleges he was instructed to stop giving assessments on threats of Russian interference in the U.S. because it "made the president look bad."

Editor's note: This story has been updated to include the Department of Homeland Security's response.

Go deeper

Mike Allen, author of AM
Dec 18, 2020 - Technology

Cyberhack looks like act of war

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A Trump administration official tells Axios that the cyberattack on the U.S. government and corporate America, apparently by Russia, is looking worse by the day — and secrets may still be being stolen in ways not yet discovered.

The big picture: "We still don't know the bottom of the well," the official said. Stunningly, the breach goes back to at least March, and continued all through the election. The U.S. government didn't sound the alarm until this Sunday. Damage assessment could take months.

Journalism enters dangerous new era

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

The Capitol attack on Jan. 6 resulted in at least nine physical assaults against journalists and at least five arrests, per the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker's top editor.

Why it matters: President Trump's harsh rhetoric towards the press has empowered leaders abroad and locally in the U.S. to continue to attack press that they don't like.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

The beginning of the beginning for Biden's climate push

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Joe Biden's inauguration and the days right after will bring a rat-tat-tat burst of climate policy moves, but keep this in mind amid the splashy pledges: pushing through most of his agenda will be a long, uncertain slog.

Why it matters: Biden's climate plan is far more expansive than anything contemplated under President Obama. But for all the immediate pledges, it will take years to see how far Biden gets.