Feb 15, 2017

Pence found out about General Flynn by reading the Washington Post

Evan Vucci / AP

We knew the Vice President felt he'd been misled by Michael Flynn over the former national security advisor's phone calls with the Russian ambassador. Now we know the extent to which Mike Pence was operating in the dark.

Pence's spokesman Marc Lotter confirmed to us in an email that Pence only learned of Flynn's misleading statements — that the General had in fact discussed sanctions with the Russians — after reading about it in the Washington Post.

What we've been told about the timeline: On January 26, the Justice Department briefed the White House counsel Don McGahn about Flynn's misleading statements. President Trump was immediately informed of the situation, according to Press Secretary Sean Spicer. Spicer has said the White House has "been reviewing and evaluating this issue on a daily basis for a couple of weeks," and Trump ultimately decided he couldn't trust Flynn.

The problem: Why did it take so long for the President to request Flynn's resignation? And why did the Vice President — the man Flynn sent out on national TV with a categorical falsehood — have to get his information from a newspaper?

Go deeper

Supreme Court to hear Philadelphia case over same-sex foster parents

Photo: Daniel Slim/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court agreed Monday to hear a high-profile case that could reshape the bounds of First Amendment protections for religion.

Why it matters: The direct question in this case is whether Philadelphia had the right to cancel a contract with an adoption agency that refused to place foster children with same-sex couples. It also poses bigger questions that could lead the court to overturn a key precedent and carve out new protections for religious organizations.

Why Apple may move to open iOS

Photo illustration: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Apple may finally allow iPhone owners to set email or browsing apps other than Apple's own as their preferred defaults, according to a Bloomberg report from last week.

The big picture: Customers have long clamored for the ability to choose their preferred apps, and now Apple, like other big tech companies, finds itself under increased scrutiny over anything perceived as anticompetitive.