A stunning moment in today's House Intelligence hearing — the director of the National Security Agency, Admiral Michael Rogers, acknowledged on live television that President Trump's loose talk has complicated relationships with Britain and Germany.

  1. On Britain: Rogers was asked about Trump's repetition of an unsubstantiated claim that Britain's top spy agency wiretapped Trump on behalf of President Obama. Rogers gave a forceful "no," said he agreed with the British that the claims were nonsense, and acknowledged that Trump's allegation was unhelpful and "clearly frustrates a key ally of ours."
  2. On Germany: Rogers was asked about Trump's suggestion to German Chancellor Angela Merkel last week that they both had something in common because they'd been wiretapped by Obama. Rogers said it was unhelpful for Trump to raise this controversial incident, which became public due to leaks by Edward Snowden. "It certainly complicates things," Rogers said.

Why this matters: Germany and Britain are two of America's key allies, with foundational shared interests and intimate national security relationships. Britain belongs to the "Five Eyes" — the crucial intelligence alliance with Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. These relationships — as Rogers acknowledged today — are incredibly resilient and will withstand these presidential hiccups. But for an NSA director to publicly state that the President is straining key relationships...that's extraordinary.

Go deeper

Updated 15 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 1 a.m. ET: 31,245,797 — Total deaths: 963,693— Total recoveries: 21,394,593Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 1 a.m. ET: 6,856,884 — Total deaths: 199,865 — Total recoveries: 2,615,949 — Total tests: 95,841,281Map.
  3. Health: CDC says it mistakenly published guidance about COVID-19 spreading through air.
  4. Media: Conservative blogger who spread COVID-19 misinformation worked for Fauci's agency.
  5. Politics: House Democrats file legislation to fund government through Dec. 11.
  6. World: U.K. upgrades COVID alert level as Europe sees worrying rise in infections — "The Wake-Up Call" warns the West about the consequences of mishandling a pandemic.

Texas and Louisiana face fresh flood threat from Tropical Storm Beta

Tropical Storm Beta slowly approaching the Texas coast on Monday. Photo: National Weather Service/Twitter

Tropical Storm Beta crossed the Texas coast near the southern end of the Matagorda Peninsula late Monday, the National Hurricane Center said, bringing with it the risk of "life-threatening storm surge" and flooding to parts of Texas and Louisiana.

What's happening: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) made a disaster declaration and Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) declared a state of emergency, as the states began feeling the impact of the slow-moving storm — which was causing coastal flooding along the bays near Houston and Galveston in Texas, and the Gulf of Mexico Monday, per the National Weather Service.

Louisville police declare state of emergency as Breonna Taylor decision looms

A demonstrator holds up a sign of Breonna Taylor during a protest in Louisville, Kentucky. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

The Louisville police chief declared in a memo obtained by news outlets a "state of emergency" for the department on Monday to prepare for Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron's expected announcement on the Breonna Taylor case.

Of note: Louisville has witnessed more than 115 days of protests over the police killing of Taylor, an unarmed Black woman, with calls for all the officers involved to be charged.

Get Axios AM in your inbox

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!