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Photo: Al Drago/Getty Images

On March 9, 2017, then-FBI director James Comey briefed the Gang of 8 on the FBI's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, including the "principal U.S. subjects of the investigation," according to a redacted version of the Mueller report.

What's new: On March 16, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) informed the White House counsel's office of the existence of "4-5 targets" in the Russia investigation, according to meeting notes written by Don McGahn's then-chief of staff, Annie Donaldson. Mueller does not make clear whether Donaldson was present at Burr's briefing.

On March 16, 2017, the White House Counsel's Office was briefed by Senator Burr on the existence of "4-5 targets." The "targets" were identified in notes taken by Donaldson as "Flynn (FBI was in—wrapping up—) -> DOJ looking for phone records"; "Comey~Manafort (Ukr + Russia, not campaign)"; [REDACTED]; "Carter Page ($ game)"; and "Greek Guy" (potentially referring to George Papadopoulos, later charged with violating 18 U.S.C. § 1001 for lying to the FBI) Donaldson and McGahn both said they believed these were targets of SSCI. But SSCI does not formally investigate individuals as "targets"; the notes on their face reference the FBI, the Department of Justice, and Comey; and the notes track the background materials prepared by the FBI for Comey's briefing to the Gang of 8 on March 9 (Donaldson could not rule out that Burr had told McGahn those individuals were the FBI's targets).
— Mueller report, page 52 of volume 2

Why it matters: The Senate Intelligence Committee's Russia investigation has long been considered to be less partisan than its House counterpart, which has been marred by infighting. It's unclear whether Burr had the blessing of Ranking Member Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) to brief the White House.

Statement from Burr's spokeswoman Caitlin Carroll:

"Chairman Burr does not recall this specific conversation with Mr. McGahn in March of 2017; however, any conversations between the two would have been in reference to the need for White House personnel to voluntarily comply with the Senate Intelligence Committee’s Russia investigation. If specific individuals were discussed, they would have been those known to the Committee, the White House, and the media. The Chairman’s stewardship over the Committee’s bipartisan and fact-based investigation over the last two years speaks for itself."

Go deeper

White House says it expects federal contractors to be vaccinated by Dec. 8

Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The White House said in new guidance Friday that it expects millions of federal contractors to be vaccinated against the coronavirus no later than Dec. 8.

Why it matters: Companies with federal contractors have been waiting for formal guidance from the White House before requiring those employees to get vaccinated, according to Reuters.

CDC director maintains Pfizer booster recommendation for high-risk workers

Rochelle Walensky listens during a confirmation hearing on July 20. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/The New York Times/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Rochelle Walensky on Friday reiterated her decision to go against a recommendation by a CDC advisory panel that refused to endorse booster shots for workers whose jobs put them at high risk for contracting COVID-19.

Driving the news: "Our healthcare systems are once again at maximum capacity in parts of the country, our teachers are facing uncertainty as they walk into the classroom," Walensky said at a Friday briefing. "I must do what I can to preserve the health across our nation."

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Democrats release full text of Biden's $3.5T reconciliation package

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Friday unveiled the full text of President Biden's $3.5 trillion social spending package.

Why it matters: Democrats are racing to finish negotiations and get the bill on the floor as soon as possible so Pelosi can fulfill her promises to both House centrists and progressives about the timing and sequencing of passing the party's dual infrastructure packages.