Apr 2, 2017

Schiff: Secrecy over Nunes docs part of Trump's "attempt to distract"

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

House Intel Committee Ranking Member Adam Schiff went to the White House Friday to see the documents that led Chairman Devin Nunes to say Trump associates may have been spied on by the Obama administration. Schiff told Jake Tapper this morning that there are two things the American people need to know about the documents:

1. The origins are fishy:

"The deputy assistant to the White House informed me… 'these are exactly the same materials shown to the chairman'…now this is a very interesting point. How does the White House know that these were the same materials that were shown to the chairman if the White House wasn't aware what the chairman was being shown? …if these were produced either for or by the White House, then why all the subterfuge?

2. An attempt to distract:

"You can say a lot of things about the president but… he's not subtle. I think his tweets tell the story…It's certainly an attempt to distract, to hide the origin of the materials, to hide the White House hand. The question is of course why. I think the answer to the question is this effort to point the Congress in other directions… 'don't look at me, don't look at Russia, there's nothing to see here' …it ought to set off alarm bells"

On Mike Flynn's immunity request: "I think we start out with a very healthy skepticism. We don't want to do anything that will interfere in any case that the Justice Department may decide to bring."

Go deeper

Unemployment rate falls to 13.3% in May

Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. unemployment rate fell to 13.3% in May, with 2.5 million jobs gained, the government said on Friday.

Why it matters: The far better-than-expected numbers show a surprising improvement in the job market, which has been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic.

The difficulty of calculating the real unemployment rate

Data: U.S. Department of Labor; Note: Initial traditional state claims from the weeks of May 23 and 30, continuing traditional claims from May 23. Initial PUA claims from May 16, 23, and 30, continuing PUA and other programs from May 16; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The shocking May jobs report — with a decline in the unemployment rate to 13.3% and more than 2 million jobs added — destroyed expectations of a much worse economic picture.

Why it matters: Traditional economic reports have failed to keep up with the devastation of the coronavirus pandemic and have made it nearly impossible for researchers to determine the state of the U.S. labor market or the economy.

2 hours ago - Sports

How coronavirus could reshuffle the sports calendar

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The NBA's Board of Governors approved Thursday the league's 22-team plan to resume play at Walt Disney World — a plan that also includes tentative dates for both this season and next.

Why it matters: The league's proposed trip to Disney World not only impacts this season but could have a domino effect that impacts seasons in the future — and could permanently change what time of year the NBA plays its games.