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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

13 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Kevin McCarthy's rude awakening

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Kevin McCarthy is learning you can get torched when you try to make everyone happy, especially after an insurrection.

Why it matters: The House Republican leader had been hoping to use this year to build toward taking the majority in 2022, but his efforts to bridge intra-party divisiveness over the Capitol siege have him taking heat from every direction, eroding his stature both with the public and within his party.

The next big political war: redistricting

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Democrats are preparing a mix of tech and legal strategies to combat expected gerrymandering by Republicans, who are planning to go on legal offense themselves.

Why it matters: Democrats failed to regain a single state legislature on Election Day, while Republicans upped their control to 30 states' Houses and Senates. In the majority of states, legislatures draw new congressional district lines, which can boost a party's candidates for the next decade.

44 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Vaccinations, relief timing dominate Sweet 16 call

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) speaks during a news conference in December with a group of bipartisan lawmakers. Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Vaccine distribution, pandemic data and a cross-party comity dominated today's virtual meeting between White House officials and a bipartisan group of 16 senators, Senator Angus King told Axios.

Why it matters: Given Democrats' razor-thin majority in both chambers of Congress, President Biden will have to rely heavily on this group of centrist lawmakers — dubbed the "Sweet 16" — to pass any substantial legislation.