Feb 2, 2018

Axios PM

Just posted... New Axios Sourced: What The Memo means.

1 big thing: The memo is here

The Nunes memo is public, following President Trump's decision that it should be declassified. The House Intelligence Committee posted the document on its website — without redactions.

  • Key details: The memo alleges that the unverified Steele dossier on Trump-Russia connections formed “an essential part” of the FISA warrant for former Trump campaign surrogate Carter Page. It also claims that the dossier’s anti-Trump background and Steele’s personal anti-Trump stance tainted the FISA request against Page.
  • White House Counsel Don McGahn: "To be clear, the Memorandum reflects the judgment of its congressional authors."
  • Go deeper: Read the memo for yourself.

Axios' Jonathan Swan went between the lines:

  • “Part of the reason this memo is generating such a broad variety of reaction is that the vast majority of Americans don't know anything about FISA or the authorities the intelligence community have to surveil Americans. Intel geeks are writing this off as underwhelming, but Americans who are uninitiated to FISA may find this troubling.”
  • Go deeper with Swan.

P.S. … A WSJ review of 7,000 texts between FBI agent Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page shows "no evidence of a conspiracy against Mr. Trump." The details.

2. What you missed
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  1. The Dow sank 665 points today amid signs that strong wage growth may lead to increased interest rates and inflation. Today was the biggest single-day loss for the market since 2008. It was the worst on a percentage point basis since 2016. Deeper.
  2. Bitcoin dipped below $8,000 this morning. It surpassed 19,000 last month, but is coming back to Earth. Numbers.
  3. The U.S. added 200,000 new jobs in January and the unemployment rate stayed at 4.1%. Wages also rose by 2.9% in the last 12 months, the fastest in a decade. Jobs chart.
  4. The Vatican appears close to a deal with China to settle a long running dispute over who has the power to appoint bishops. This spooks Taiwan.
  5. Under investor pressure, Exxon issued a climate analysis today. Details.
3. 1 fun thing

"Here’s why Alexa won't light up during Amazon's Super Bowl ad," by Bloomberg's Brad Stone:

  • "A September 2014 Amazon patent titled 'Audible command filtering' describes techniques to prevent Alexa from waking up 'as part of a broadcast watched by a large population (such as during a popular sporting event),' annoying customers and overloading Amazon’s servers with millions of simultaneous requests."
  • "The patent broadly describes two techniques. The first calls for transmitting a snippet of a commercial to Echo devices before it airs. Then the Echo can compare live commands to the acoustic fingerprint of the snippet to determine whether the commands are authentic. The second tactic describes how a commercial itself could transmit an inaudible acoustic signal to tell Alexa to ignore its wake word."

Correction: Yesterday's Axios PM incorrectly stated that Google missed its Q4 revenue expectations. Google missed on earnings per share expectations, but did not miss on revenue expectations.