Jul 3, 2018

Go deeper: The NSA deletion story that sparked a Trump tweet

Photo: Chris Kleponis/Abaca

Trump has called into question why the National Security Agency announced last week it had started deleting years’ worth of call records in May that were wrongly collected under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

What they’re saying: The NSA said last week it was deleting 685 million records because of “technical irregularities” that enabled the agency to collect data it wasn’t supposed to. Trump said Tuesday: "Wow! The NSA has deleted 685 million phone calls and text messages. Privacy violations? They blame technical irregularities. Such a disgrace. The Witch Hunt continues!"

What happened:

  • The Director of National Intelligence issued a transparency report in May showing the intelligence gathered in 2017 was three times larger than the previous year.
  • The DNI started producing the transparency report at the behest of Congress after former NSA contractor Ed Snowden’s revelations about the NSA’s spying.
  • “NSA notified the Congressional Oversight Committees, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, and the Department of Justice of this decision,” per the NSA’s announcement.

Driving the conversation: Whether the NSA is incapable of complying with the limits on collecting call data records, whether they were ignoring them, and whether there were technical irregularities that allowed the collection.

Go deeper

Sign of the times: A pro-Warren super PAC

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren at a rally in Nevada. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

A group of women progressives who back Sen. Elizabeth Warren has formed Persist PAC, a super PAC airing pro-Warren ads starting Wednesday in an effort to boost her performance ahead of Saturday's crucial Nevada caucuses, a spokesman told Axios.

Why it matters: Warren has spoken adamantly against the influence of unlimited spending and dark money in politics. But these supporters have concluded that before Warren can reform the system, she must win under the rules that exist — and that whether she likes it or not, their uncoordinated help may be needed to keep her viable through this weekend's contest and into South Carolina and Super Tuesday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Pentagon policy chief resigns amid reported discord with Trump

John Rood. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

John Rood, the Pentagon's top policy official, will resign from his post at the end of the month, CNN first reported and President Trump confirmed.

The state of play: CNN said Rood "was perceived as not embracing some of the changes in policy the White House and senior Pentagon officials wanted," such as peace talks in Afghanistan with the Taliban and a decision to cut back on military exercises with South Korea as the president courted North Korea's Kim Jong-un.

Coronavirus cases rise, as warnings of global pandemic grow

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's NHC; Note: China refers to mainland China and the Diamond Princess is the cruise ship offshore Yokohama, Japan. Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

We may be "at the brink" of a global pandemic, warns a top U.S. public health official, as cases continue to spread despite containment efforts. Meanwhile, the global economy is being affected, including the tech manufacturing industry.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed more than 2,000 people and infected over 75,000 others, mostly in mainland China, where the National Health Commission announced 136 new deaths since Tuesday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health