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Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post. Photo: Alex Wong/ Getty Images

Saudi Arabia took data from Jeff Bezos’ phone after coverage in his newspaper, The Washington Post, on the killing of its columnist Jamal Khashoggi, the billionaire's security consultant alleged in a Daily Beast article Saturday.

[I]t’s clear that MBS considers The Washington Post to be a major enemy.
— Gavin De Becker's allegation against Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

Why it matters: Gavin De Becker's Daily Beast opinion piece comes after the National Enquirer reported Bezos had an affair with Lauren Sanchez. Bezos raised “extortion and blackmail" concerns over the story. "[T]he Enquirer became an enforcement arm of the Trump presidential campaign, and presidency," per the Daily Beast.

The big picture: Bezos has for 22 years worked with de Becker, the founder of a consulting and service firm for at-risk figures. De Becker promptly identified the person the Enquirer paid as a source: A man named Michael Sanchez, the brother of Lauren Sanchez, learning that the initial information came from a source other than Sanchez.

  • De Becker found the Enquirer first contacted Sanchez about the affair, "not the other way around," according to the Daily Beast.
  • De Becker's investigation included interviews with Enquirer owner AMI execs and sources, Middle East intelligence, cyber security experts with experience tracking Saudi spyware, current and former advisers to President Trump, and others.
  • De Becker also spoke of studying the "close relationship between MBS and AMI chairman, David Pecker."

What's next: De Becker's results have been turned over to federal officials.

The latest: AMI issued a statement Sunday saying Sanchez's brother was the sole source of leaks about Bezos’ relationship.

Go deeper: Fake news fight pivots to retail

Go deeper

Scoop: Gina Haspel threatened to resign over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy

CIA Director Gina Haspel. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

CIA Director Gina Haspel threatened to resign in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelation stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency. Only a series of coincidences — and last minute interventions from Vice President Mike Pence and White House counsel Pat Cipollone — stopped it.

Updated 11 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution — Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan — Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.

John Weaver, Lincoln Project co-founder, acknowledges “inappropriate” messages

John Weaver aboard John McCain's campaign plane in February 2000. Photo: Robert Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images)

John Weaver, a veteran Republican operative who co-founded the Lincoln Project, declared in a statement to Axios on Friday that he sent “inappropriate,” sexually charged messages to multiple men.

  • “To the men I made uncomfortable through my messages that I viewed as consensual mutual conversations at the time: I am truly sorry. They were inappropriate and it was because of my failings that this discomfort was brought on you,” Weaver said.
  • “The truth is that I'm gay,” he added. “And that I have a wife and two kids who I love. My inability to reconcile those two truths has led to this agonizing place.”