Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said at a hearing to review the findings of the Justice Department's inspector general report that it was Russia, not Ukraine, who interfered in the 2016 presidential election by hacking the Democratic National Committee.

"We know the Russians are messing in our elections. And it was the Russians, ladies and gentlemen, who stole the Democratic National Committee emails, Podesta's emails and screwed around with Hillary Clinton. It wasn't the Ukrainians. It was the Russians. And they're coming after us again. So to be concerned that the Russians are messing with presidential campaigns was a legitimate concern."

Why it matters: What was once a consensus due to the conclusions of the U.S. intelligence community has become something of a litmus test for loyalty toward President Trump, who has promoted allegations that Ukraine interfered in 2016 on behalf of Democrats.

  • Trump's request that Ukraine's president investigate whether the DNC's server is hidden in his country — a baseless conspiracy theory — contributed to the opening of the impeachment inquiry due to allegations that he withheld military aid until the investigation was announced.
  • Graham has been among the fiercest critics of the impeachment inquiry, but has declined to give credence to the idea that it was Ukraine, not Russia, that interfered in 2016.

The big picture: Graham used his opening statement to blast the FBI for the significant factual errors and omissions that officials made in surveillance applications for Trump campaign aide Carter Page.

  • The inspector general's report rebuked the FBI for its serious oversights but ultimately concluded that the Russia investigation was not tainted by political bias.

Go deeper: Read Inspector General Michael Horowitz's opening statement at FISA hearing

Go deeper

Deadly Hurricane Zeta churns inland after lashing Louisiana

A satellite image of Hurricane Zeta. Photo: National Hurricane Center/NOAA

Hurricane Zeta has killed at least one person after a downed power line electrocuted a 55-year-old in Louisiana as the storm moved into Alabama overnight.

What's happening: After "battering southeastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi," it began lashing Alabama late Wednesday, per the National Hurricane Center.

37 mins ago - World

Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases

Catholics go through containment protocols including body-temperature measurement and hands-sanitisation before entering the Saint Christopher Parish Church, Taipei City, Taiwan, in July. Photo: Ceng Shou Yi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Taiwan on Thursday marked no locally transmitted coronavirus cases for 200 days, as the island of 23 million people's total number of infections reported stands at 550 and the COVID-19 death toll at seven.

Why it matters: Nowhere else in the world has reached such a milestone. While COVID-19 cases surge across the U.S. and Europe, Taiwan's last locally transmitted case was on April 12. Experts credit tightly regulated travel, early border closure, "rigorous contact tracing, technology-enforced quarantine and universal mask wearing," along with the island state's previous experience with the SARS virus, per Bloomberg.

Go deeper: As Taiwan's profile rises, so does risk of conflict with China

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Biden ahead in Wisconsin, Michigan as cases surge in the Midwest.
  2. Health: Fauci says U.S. may not return to normal until 2022 — Trump's testing czar: Surge "is real" and not just caused by more tests Some coronavirus survivors have "autoantibodies."
  3. Business: Consumer confidence sinking Testing is a windfall.
  4. World: Europe faces "stronger and deadlier" wave France imposes lockdown Germany to close bars and restaurants for a month.
  5. Sports: Boston Marathon delayed MLB to investigate Dodgers player who joined celebration after positive COVID test.