Apr 3, 2017

Report: Susan Rice requested "unmasking" of Trump associates

U.S. Embassy New Delhi / Flickr Creative Commons

The White House discovered last month that President Obama's national security advisor Susan Rice made dozens of requests to "unmask" Trump transition officials in incidental collection of their communications with electronically monitored foreign officials, per Eli Lake in Bloomberg View.

  • The caveats: Lake admitted last week that he'd been misled by Rep. Devin Nunes on a story about Obama officials incidentally surveilling Trump, and controversial pro-Trump blogger Mike Cernovich was the first to report this news yesterday.
  • What it means: The standard for unmasking is that information "must have some foreign intelligence value," which is such a broad definition that it means Rice's requests were probably legal.
  • What we do know: This new information does not validate Trump's wiretapping tweets as he specifically mentioned Obama administration surveillance of Trump Tower.
  • What might happen next: Trump also tweeted that these incidental intercepts of his associates are unrelated to Russia. Maggie Haberman of the NYT astutely notes on Twitter that POTUS could simply declassify this intel to clear the air surrounding this incidental collection.

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America's future looks a lot like Nevada

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Today's Nevada caucus will foreshadow the future of American politics well beyond 2020.

Why it matters: The U.S. is in the midst of a demographic transformation, and the country's future looks a lot like Nevada's present. Today's results, in addition to shaping the 2020 race, will help tell us where politics is headed in a rapidly changing country.

Coronavirus spreads to more countries, and U.S. ups its case count

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus continues to spread to more nations, and the U.S. reports a doubling of its confirmed cases to 34 — while noting those are mostly due to repatriated citizens, emphasizing there's no "community spread" yet in the U.S. Meanwhile, Italy reported its first virus-related death on Friday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 2,359 people and infected more than 77,000 others, mostly in mainland China. New countries to announce infections recently include Israel, Lebanon and Iran.

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