Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Former National Security Advisor Susan Rice's attorney Kathryn Ruemmler has fired back at Republicans questioning the motives and completeness of an email purporting to document a meeting between some of then-President Obama's top officials. She denied that meeting discussed the Steele dossier, a specter raised by the chair of the Senate Judiciary committee as he sought information about the email.

What they're saying: "The discussion that Ambassador Rice documented did not involve the so-called Steele dossier," said Ruemmler in a statement. "Any insinuation that Ambassador Rice’s actions in this matter were inappropriate is yet another attempt to distract and deflect from the importance of the ongoing investigations into Russian meddling in America’s democracy."

Driving the news: Rice sent the email to herself during her last day in office.

  • It claims Obama told FBI head James Comey and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates that he felt that the White House should be walled off from the investigation into the Trump campaign unless Obama risked sharing classified information with a bona fide Russian mole.
  • Judiciary chair Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and member Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) sent Rice a letter Monday asking why Rice sent that "unusual" email to herself during her final moments in office — two weeks after the meeting took place. They also asked whether the Steele dossier or wiretaps of Trump adviser Carter Page came up during the meeting. Ruemmler denied the former in her statement and did not address the latter.
  • "There is nothing ‘unusual’ about the National Security Advisor memorializing an important discussion for the record," said Ruemmler in her statement.

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Deadly storm Zeta pummels parts of Alabama and Florida

A satellite image of Hurricane Zeta. Photo: National Hurricane Center/NOAA

Former Hurricane Zeta has killed at least one person after a downed power line electrocuted a 55-year-old in Louisiana as the storm's powerful winds and heavy rainfall moved into Alabama overnight.

What's happening: After "battering southeastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi," Zeta weakened to a tropical storm over central Alabama early on Thursday, per the National Hurricane Center.

Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases

Catholics go through containment protocols including body-temperature measurement and hands-sanitisation before entering the Saint Christopher Parish Church, Taipei City, Taiwan, in July. Photo: Ceng Shou Yi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Taiwan on Thursday marked no locally transmitted coronavirus cases for 200 days, as the island of 23 million people's total number of infections reported stands at 550 and the COVID-19 death toll at seven.

Why it matters: Nowhere else in the world has reached such a milestone. While COVID-19 cases surge across the U.S. and Europe, Taiwan's last locally transmitted case was on April 12. Experts credit tightly regulated travel, early border closure, "rigorous contact tracing, technology-enforced quarantine and universal mask wearing," along with the island state's previous experience with the SARS virus, per Bloomberg.

Go deeper: As Taiwan's profile rises, so does risk of conflict with China

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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