Jun 1, 2017

"Patriotic" hackers could have targeted U.S., says Putin

Pavel Golovkin / AP

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that "patriotic" Russians may have hacked the U.S., but claimed the Russian government "never" engages in such activity.

"If they feel patriotic, they may try to contribute to the fight against those who speak badly about Russia," he said, per the AP. Putin added that he could "imagine" that hackers could forge data to make it look like Russia was the origin of an attack.

Other highlights from Putin's conversation:

  • He refused to give advice to Trump: A "person like President Trump doesn't need any advice, especially if it comes to political issues."
  • On how current sanctions have impacted Russia: They've had "zero effect." He predicted the sanctions would soon ease.
  • On hacking the upcoming German elections: "We never engaged in that on a state level, and have no intention of doing so."

Go deeper

Sanders takes aim at Bloomberg: "Trump will chew him up and spit him out"

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Bernie Sanders told CBS "60 Minutes" that he was surprised by Mike Bloomberg's lackluster performance at Wednesday's Democratic debate.

What he's saying: "If that's what happened in a Democratic debate, you know, I think it's quite likely that Trump will chew him up and spit him out."

Scoop: Lyft acquires cartop advertising startup Halo Cars

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Lyft has acquired Halo Cars, a small startup that lets ride-hailing drivers earn money via ad displays mounted atop their cars. Lyft confirmed the deal but declined to share any details.

Why it matters: Ride-hailing companies are increasingly eyeing additional ways to generate revenue, and Lyft rival Uber has been quietly testing a partnership with New York-based Cargo that gives it a cut of the advertising revenue, as I previously reported.

Scoop: New White House personnel chief tells Cabinet liaisons to target Never Trumpers

McEntee, shown with White House counselor Kellyanne Conway and White House senior adviser Stephen Miller, walks on the South Lawn of the White House Jan. 9. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Johnny McEntee called in White House liaisons from cabinet agencies for an introductory meeting Thursday, in which he asked them to identify political appointees across the U.S. government who are believed to be anti-Trump, three sources familiar with the meeting tell Axios.

Behind the scenes: McEntee, a 29-year-old former body man to Trump who was fired in 2018 by then-Chief of Staff John Kelly but recently rehired — and promoted to head the presidential personnel office — foreshadowed sweeping personnel changes across government.