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Evan Vucci / AP

Sean Spicer wouldn't confirm or deny whether Israel was the source behind the sensitive information Trump shared with senior Russia officials last week. He also failed to shed light on whether the intel was classified. Getting into "What is and what isn't classified is a dangerous road," he said.

  • Nature of information: It regarded a common threat. "Why wouldn't we want to share a common threat?"
  • On transcripts from Russian meeting: Three individuals who were present in the meeting already gave statements, said Spicer.
  • On leaks to press: "What has occurred here... is frankly dangerous," said Spicer. "It undermines our national security."
  • Western Wall: Spicer said it is in Jerusalem, but would not state whether the administration believes Wall is located in Israel. McMaster dodged the same question earlier.

Of note: NYT's Glenn Thrush offered a visual of Spicer, tweeting that he "looks, very very subdued..."

Go deeper

Ina Fried, author of Login
2 hours ago - Technology

Scoop: Google is investigating the actions of another top AI ethicist

Google CEO Sundar Pichai. Photo by Mateusz Wlodarczyk/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Google is investigating recent actions by Margaret Mitchell, who helps lead the company's ethical AI team, Axios has confirmed.

Why it matters: The probe follows the forced exit of Timnit Gebru, a prominent researcher also on the AI ethics team at Google whose ouster ignited a firestorm among Google employees.

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Joe Biden's COVID-19 bubble

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The incoming administration is planning extraordinary steps to protect its most prized commodity, Joe Biden, including requiring daily employee COVID tests and N95 masks at all times, according to new guidance sent to some incoming employees Tuesday.

Why it matters: The president-elect is 78 years old and therefore a high risk for the virus and its worst effects, despite having received the vaccine. While President Trump's team was nonchalant about COVID protocols — leading to several super-spreader episodes — the new rules will apply to all White House aides in "high proximity to principals."

Justice Department drops insider trading inquiry against Sen. Richard Burr

Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) walking through the Senate Subway in the U.S. Capitol in December 2020. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

The Department of Justice told Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) on Tuesday that it will not move forward with insider trading charges against him.

Why it matters: The decision, first reported by the New York Times, effectively ends the DOJ's investigation into the senator's stock sell-off that occurred after multiple lawmakers were briefed about the coronavirus' potential economic toll. Burr subsequently stepped down as chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee.