Oct 6, 2017

H.R. McMaster installs new head of NSC intelligence

Photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

National Security Adviser Gen. H.R. McMaster has appointed Mike Barry to oversee the intelligence community on the National Security Council, according to two sources with direct knowledge of the decision.

Barry, who served in the intelligence community, replaces Ezra Cohen-Watnick, the intel operative who was appointed by Gen. Mike Flynn and gained notoriety as he fell out with McMaster and was eventually ousted, despite being in the unusual position of having warm relationships with both Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner. (Barry's appointment was first foreshadowed — in pejorative terms — by Mike Cernovich, a controversial online foe of McMaster's.)

Why this matters: As special assistant to the president for intelligence programs, Barry will be crucial to the smooth functioning of President Trump's national security team, and will be responsible for aligning the intelligence community's policy with Trump's priorities. Barry will also manage covert action.

What we know about Barry: Not much, given the classification of the work he has been doing. A source familiar with his appointment told me:

Before Barry's service in the intelligence community, he served in the Air Force.H.R. McMaster asked CIA Director Mike Pompeo for recommendations for Cohen-Watnick replacements. Pompeo recommended Barry.Barry and McMaster bonded, partly "because they'd worked in similar environments," the source said.

Go deeper

House Democrats lose appeal to force McGahn testimony

Photo: Alex Wong / Staff

Democrats in the House lost an appeal to force former White House Counsel Don McGhan to comply with a subpoena, Politico was the first to report.

Why it matters: McGahn was seen as a crucial witness in the House investigation into whether President Trump tried to obstruct the Mueller inquiry. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled 2-1 on Friday that it court did not have the authority to resolve the dispute between the executive and legislative branches.

The Americans who can't hide from coronavirus

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The stock markets are in bad shape, but for the millions of Americans who aren’t invested in stocks, coronavirus is presenting a far more imminent concern.

Why it matters: Quarantines usually work with at least 90% participation, but many Americans lack the flexibility to work remotely, take a sick day or absorb having schools close.

Go deeperArrow26 mins ago - Health

Wall Street notches worst week for stocks since 2008

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Photo: Scott Heins/Getty Images

Stocks closed down about 1% on Friday, ending the worst week for Wall Street since the financial crisis.

Why it matters: The stretch of declines came after a spike in coronavirus cases around the world earlier this week. The steep losses prompted questions about the fate of the record-long economic expansion, as well as a rare statement from the Federal Reserve.

Go deeper: The growing coronavirus recession threat