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Vice President Mike Pence at an Axios event Wednesday. Photo: Chuck Kennedy / Axios

"Irrespective of efforts that were made in 2016 by foreign powers, it is the universal conclusion of our intelligence communities that none of those efforts had any impact on the outcome of the 2016 election."
— Vice President Mike Pence at an Axios event Wednesday.

Fact check: U.S. Intelligence chiefs say they have made no such judgment.

What they know
  • U.S. intelligence chiefs have determined that Russia tried to meddle in the election.
  • Yesterday, during a hearing on world threats, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats even said Russia believes their efforts were successful, and sees the 2018 midterms as another potential target.
  • Department of Homeland Security officials said in September that 21 states had been targeted by Russian government hackers during the campaign, and some successfully infiltrated their elections systems, but said there was no evidence of any voting machines being affected.
What they don't know
  • According to a joint assessment on Russian interference released in January: "We did not make an assessment of the impact that Russian activities had on the outcome of the 2016 election. The US Intelligence Community is charged with monitoring and assessing the intentions, capabilities, and actions of foreign actors; it does not analyze US political processes or US public opinion."
  • That statement means not only have U.S. intel leaders not reached a conclusion on whether the outcome of the election was impacted, but it is not in their authority to analyze political processes.

Flashback: In October of 2017, the CIA was forced to walk Director Mike Pompeo's assertion that Russian efforts to influence the outcome of the election were unsuccessful, specifically stating no such determination had been made.

Go deeper

18 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Ohio Senate candidate Josh Mandel escorted out of RNC retreat

Ohio Republican Senate candidate Josh Mandel. Photo: Chris Maddaloni / Getty Images

During this weekend’s highly anticipated donor retreat hosted by the Republican National Committee in Palm Beach, Ohio Senate candidate Josh Mandel was escorted off the premises while his primary opponent, Jane Timken, was allowed to stay, two sources with direct knowledge of the situation tell Axios.

What we’re hearing: The invitation-only event is taking place at the Four Seasons Resort, and the RNC reserved the entire hotel. While Timken, former Ohio GOP chair, was invited to the event “because she is a major donor” — Mandel was not, so he was asked to leave, according to one of the sources

Ben Geman, author of Generate
1 hour ago - Energy & Environment

Report: John Kerry plans to visit China ahead of Biden's climate summit

John Kerry. Photo: Zach Gibson / Stringer

John Kerry, President Biden's special climate envoy, is expected to travel to China next week for meetings with officials aimed at boosting collaboration, the Washington Post reported Saturday.

Why it matters: China is the world's largest carbon dioxide emitter and the U.S. is second-largest.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus cases hold steady at 65,000 per day — CDC declares racism "a serious public health threat" — WHO official: Brazil is dealing with "raging inferno" of a COVID outbreak
  2. Vaccines: America may be close to hitting a vaccine wall — Pfizer asks FDA to expand COVID vaccine authorization to adolescents — CDC says Johnson & Johnson vaccine supply will drop 80% next week.
  3. Economy: Treasury says over 156 million stimulus payments sent out since March — More government spending expected as IMF projects 6% global GDP growth.
  4. Politics: Supreme Court ends California's coronavirus restrictions on home religious meetings
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.