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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.

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
1 hour ago - Technology

TikTok gets more time (again)

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The White House is again giving TikTok's Chinese parent company more to satisfy national security concerns, rather than initiating legal action, a source familiar with the situation tells Axios.

The state of play: China's ByteDance had until Friday to resolve issues raised by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS), which is chaired by Treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin. This was the company's third deadline, with CFIUS having provided two earlier extensions.

Federal judge orders Trump administration to restore DACA

DACA recipients and their supporters rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court on June 18. Photo: Drew Angerer via Getty

A federal judge on Friday ordered the Trump administration to fully restore the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, giving undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children a chance to petition for protection from deportation.

Why it matters: DACA was implemented under former President Obama, but President Trump has sought to undo the program since taking office. Friday’s ruling will require Department of Homeland Security officers to begin accepting applications starting Monday and guarantee that work permits are valid for two years.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Fauci says he accepted Biden's offer to be chief medical adviser "on the spot" — The recovery needs rocket fuel.
  2. Health: CDC: It's time for "universal face mask use" — Death rates rising across the country — Study: Increased testing can reduce transmission.
  3. Economy: U.S. economy adds 245,000 jobs in November as recovery slows — America's hidden depression: K-shaped recovery threatens Biden administration.
  4. Cities: Bay Area counties to enact stay-at-home order ahead of state mandate
  5. Vaccine: What vaccine trials still need to do.
  6. World: UN warns "2021 is literally going to be catastrophic"
  7. 🎧 Podcast: Former FDA chief Rob Califf on the vaccine approval process.