U.S. Embassy New Delhi / Flickr Creative Commons

The White House discovered last month that President Obama's national security advisor Susan Rice made dozens of requests to "unmask" Trump transition officials in incidental collection of their communications with electronically monitored foreign officials, per Eli Lake in Bloomberg View.

  • The caveats: Lake admitted last week that he'd been misled by Rep. Devin Nunes on a story about Obama officials incidentally surveilling Trump, and controversial pro-Trump blogger Mike Cernovich was the first to report this news yesterday.
  • What it means: The standard for unmasking is that information "must have some foreign intelligence value," which is such a broad definition that it means Rice's requests were probably legal.
  • What we do know: This new information does not validate Trump's wiretapping tweets as he specifically mentioned Obama administration surveillance of Trump Tower.
  • What might happen next: Trump also tweeted that these incidental intercepts of his associates are unrelated to Russia. Maggie Haberman of the NYT astutely notes on Twitter that POTUS could simply declassify this intel to clear the air surrounding this incidental collection.

Go deeper

Deadly Hurricane Zeta slams U.S. Gulf Coast

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

Hurricane Zeta has killed at least one person after a 55-year-old man was "electrocuted by a downed power line" in Louisiana as the storm caused widespread power outages Wednesday night, per AP.

What's happening: Zeta made landfall south of New Orleans as a Category 2 hurricane earlier Wednesday before weakening to Category 1. But it was still "battering southeastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi with life-threatening storm surge, high winds, and heavy rain" late Wednesday, per the National Hurricane Center.

Updated 41 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Biden ahead in Wisconsin, Michigan as cases surge in the Midwest.
  2. Health: Fauci says U.S. may not return to normal until 2022 — Trump's testing czar: Surge "is real" and not just caused by more tests Some coronavirus survivors have "autoantibodies."
  3. Business: Consumer confidence sinking Testing is a windfall.
  4. World: Europe faces "stronger and deadlier" wave France imposes lockdown Germany to close bars and restaurants for a month.
  5. Sports: Boston Marathon delayed MLB to investigate Dodgers player who joined celebration after positive COVID test.
1 hour ago - Health

Fauci says U.S. may not return to normal until 2022

Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Anthony Fauci, testifies during a September Senate hearing on COVID-19 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Graeme Jennings/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

NIAID director Anthony Fauci told the Journal of the American Medical Association on Wednesday he doesn't expect a COVID-19 vaccine to be ready until January 2021 or later.

What he's saying: Fauci said during the interview that the U.S. was in a "bad position" after failing to keep case numbers down post-summer. "We should have been way down in baseline and daily cases and we’re not," he said.

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