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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Photo: Michael Gruber/Getty Images

Iranian hackers have laid the foundation to launch cyberattacks on electric grids, water plants, and health care and technology companies in the U.S., European countries, and in the Middle East, multiple senior U.S. officials tell NBC News' Courtney Kube, Carol E. Lee, Dan De Luce, and Ken Dilanian.

Why it matters: Iran has launched similar attacks before, like when it attacked U.S. banks and a dam in New York in what some security experts believe to have been in response to the 2010 Stuxnet attack on Iran, per Reuters. The U.S. is weighing whether striking back against Iran, if these extensive cyberattacks indeed come, would be the appropriate response. In preparation, the White House has reportedly readied sanctions against Tehran.

Go deeper

Updated 8 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump grants flurry of last-minute pardons

Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty

President Trump issued 73 pardons and commuted the sentences of 70 individuals early Wednesday, 11 hours from leaving office.

Why it matters: It's a last-minute gift to some of the president's loyalists and an evident use of executive power with only hours left of his presidency. Axios reported in December that Trump planned to grant pardons to "every person who ever talked to me."

53 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump revokes ethics order barring former aides from lobbying

Photo: Spencer Platt via Getty

Shortly after pardoning members of Congress and lobbyists convicted on corruption charges, President Trump revoked an executive order barring former officials from lobbying for five years after leaving his administration.

Why it matters: The order, which was signed eight days after he took office, was an attempt to fulfill his campaign promise to "drain the swamp."

  • But with less than 12 hours left in office, Trump has now removed those limitations on his own aides.

Trump pardons former fundraiser Elliott Broidy

President Trump has pardoned Elliott Broidy, a former top Republican fundraiser who pleaded guilty late last year to conspiring to violate foreign lobbying laws as part of a campaign to sway the administration on behalf of Chinese and Malaysian interests.

Why it matters: Broidy was a deputy finance chair for the Republican National Committee early in Trump’s presidency, and attempted to leverage his influence in the Trump administration on behalf of his clients. The president's decision to pardon Broidy represents one last favor for a prominent political ally.