Former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn. Photo: Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images

Michael Flynn, Trump's former national security adviser, asked the ex-Russian ambassador to the U.S. to take "reciprocal" action against Obama-era sanctions over election interference in late 2016, Politico reports, citing transcripts released to Congress on Friday.

Why it matters: The Justice Department dropped its prosecution of Flynn earlier this month, after he pleaded guilty in 2017 to lying to FBI agents about discussing sanctions with Sergey Kislyak, the former Russian ambassador.

The big picture: Almost 2,000 former DOJ officials and former President Obama have accused Attorney General Bill Barr of politicizing the DOJ for its decision to drop charges against Flynn.

Between the lines: President Trump and his allies have long claimed that the Russia investigation — in which Flynn lied about his contact with Kislyak — was a political hit job by the Obama administration.

  • Flynn said in conversation with Kislyak as an incoming adviser that he wanted to avoid escalation over the sanctions, per the newly declassified transcripts.

What they're saying: “The transcripts also reveal why Flynn was properly the subject of a counterintelligence investigation and how the DOJ’s effort to dismiss the case against him is so transparently political and destructive to the interests of justice," House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said in a statement on Friday.

  • "As a result of lying to both the FBI and the Vice President, Flynn posed a severe counterintelligence risk because the Russians knew the real contents of Flynn’s communications and that he lied about them to some of the most senior officials in the U.S. government."

Go deeper: The facts on Michael Flynn, the FBI, and Bill Barr’s bombshell

Go deeper

Updated 49 mins ago - Science

Hurricane Isaias makes landfall in North Carolina

People walk through floodwaters on Ocean Blvd. in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on Monday. Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

Hurricane Isaias made landfall as a Category 1 storm near Ocean Isle Beach in southern North Carolina at 11:10 p.m. ET Monday, packing maximum sustained winds of 85 mph, per the National Hurricane Center (NHC).

What's happening: Hurricane conditions were spreading onto the coast of eastern South Carolina and southeastern N.C., the NHC said in an 11 p.m. update. Ocean Isle Beach Mayor Debbie Smith told WECT News the eye of the storm triggered "a series of fires at homes" and "a lot of flooding." Fire authorities confirmed they were responding to "multiple structure fires in the area."

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 18,224,253 — Total deaths: 692,679 — Total recoveries — 10,865,548Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 4,713,500 — Total deaths: 155,401 — Total recoveries: 1,513,446 — Total tests: 57,543,852Map.
  3. Politics: White House will require staff to undergo randomized coronavirus testing — Pelosi says Birx "enabled" Trump on misinformation.
  4. Sports: 13 members of St. Louis Cardinals test positive, prompting MLB to cancel Tigers series — Former FDA chief says MLB outbreaks should be warning sign for schools.
  5. 1 🎥 thing: "Tenet" may be the first major film to get a global pandemic release.

Exclusive: Trump declines to praise John Lewis, citing inauguration snub

President Trump dismissed the legacy of the late Rep. John Lewis in an interview with “Axios on HBO,” saying only that Lewis made a “big mistake” by not coming to his inauguration.

The big picture: Trump's comments were a glaring contrast with the praise Republicans and Democrats showered upon Lewis this week, and a default to personal grudges during a week of mourning for a civil rights hero.