Susan Rice at the White House in 2016. Photo: Carolyn Kaster / AP

Obama national security advisor Susan Rice told the House Intelligence Committee last week that she unmasked Trump officials in an attempt to discern why they had met with the crown prince of the United Arab Emirates when he paid an unannounced visit to New York last December, per CNN.

  • Her reasoning: The UAE's crown prince didn't tell the Obama administration he'd be visiting the United States — common protocol for such a visit — so Rice unmasked the Trump officials involved, whom CNN reported were Michael Flynn, Jared Kushner, and Steve Bannon.
  • The meeting topic: Two sources told CNN that the New York meeting topics included Iran, Yemen, and the peace process in the Middle East.
  • What's at issue: Just weeks later, the crown prince was reported to have arranged a meeting between Erik Prince, the founder of private security firm Blackwater, the brother of Betsy DeVos, and a Russian official in the Seychelles to convince Russia to pull back from Iran.

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Romney calls Stone commutation "historic corruption"

Sen. Mitt Romney. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) on Saturday tweeted a scathing response to President Trump's Friday night commutation of former associate Roger Stone's prison sentence, calling the move "[u]nprecedented, historic corruption."

Why it matters: Romney has emerged as the party's most prominent Trump critic. He sent shockwaves through Washington after announcing he would vote to convict Trump in the impeachment trial — becoming the only Senate Republican to break ranks and vote for the president's removal from office. Now he is the first major GOP lawmaker to condemn Trump's Friday night call regarding Stone.

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By any standard, no matter how you look at it, the U.S. is losing its war against the coronavirus.

Why it matters: The pandemic is not an abstraction, and it is not something that’s simmering in the background. It is an ongoing emergency ravaging nearly the entire country, with a loss of life equivalent to a Sept. 11 every three days — for four months and counting.