Feb 14, 2018

Susan Rice lawyer: Steele dossier not discussed in 2017 meeting

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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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 665,164 — Total deaths: 30,852 — Total recoveries: 140,225.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 124,665 — Total deaths: 2,191 — Total recoveries: 1,095.
  3. Federal government latest: President Trump announces new travel advisories for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, but rules out quarantine enforcement. Per the CDC, residents of those states must now "refrain from non-essential domestic travel for 14 days," with the exception of critical infrastructure industry workers.
  4. State updates: Alaska is latest state to issue a stay-at-home order — New York is trying to nearly triple its hospital capacity in less than a month and has moved its presidential primary to June 23. Some Midwestern swing voters who backed Trump's handling of the virus less than two weeks ago are balking at his call for the U.S. to be "opened up" by Easter.
  5. World updates: In Spain, over 1,400 people were confirmed dead between Thursday to Saturday.
  6. 🚀 Space updates: OneWeb filed for bankruptcy amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
  7. Hollywood: Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have returned to U.S. after being treated for coronavirus.
  8. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Coronavirus updates: Global death toll tops 30,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

The novel coronavirus has now killed more than 30,000 people around the world — with Italy reporting over 10,000 deaths, per Johns Hopkins data.

The big picture: The number of deaths from COVID-19 in the U.S. surpassed 2,000 on Saturday. The United States leads the world in confirmed coronavirus infections — more than 124,000 by early Sunday. The number of those recovered from the virus in the U.S. passed the 1,000-mark on Saturday evening.

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Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

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The big pig picture: President Trump has called the antiviral drug "promising," but the results of six clinical trials on this investigational medicine are still being conducted, so its effectiveness in COVID-19 the treatment has yet to be proved. The World Health Organization is involved in the tests.

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