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Alexei Nikolsky / AP

The story got lost amid the wall-to-wall Michael Flynn coverage, but it hasn't been lost on Republican insiders crafting Russia policy.

The New York Times reports today that administration officials have leaked news that Russia "secretly deployed a new cruise missile despite complaints from American officials that it violates a landmark arms control treaty that helped seal the end of the Cold War."

What Republicans on Capitol Hill are wondering: Republicans have been protesting Russia's violations for a couple of years already; so they're naturally wondering about motive. Was it someone in the Administration who is trying to prevent President Trump's Russia outreach? As one insider pointed out to us, there's no apparent need for urgent action to justify the leak's timing.

"You'll note that the Times says 'Russia now has two battalions'. Two. As in they didn't just rush this out yesterday," the insider added. "Those things take a lot of time to put in place. That's why this story isn't exactly urgent especially when there's really no response we can take."

Why this matters: The Trump Administration is (understandably) rife with paranoia, and the paranoia is seeping out on the Hill and being nourished by the extraordinary series of leaks coming from the intelligence community. On the campaign trail, Trump promised to go to war with Washington. He may have underestimated Washington's powers to fight back.

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
7 mins ago - Economy & Business

Workers are getting a really bad deal

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

This week's spate of data highlighted the difficulties Americans who have lost their jobs have had bouncing back from the coronavirus pandemic, and just how much those who have managed to keep their jobs have been working.

What's happening: The Labor Department reported Thursday that the productivity of American workers fell by a revised 4.2% annual rate in the fourth quarter, the largest decline in 39 years.

FBI: Trump appointee arrested in connection with Capitol riot

Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

The FBI on Thursday arrested former State Department aide Federico Klein, a Trump appointee who worked on the former president's 2016 campaign, on charges related to the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol, according to a court filing.

Why it matters: The 42-year-old Klein is the first member of the Trump administration to be arrested in connection with the insurrection, which led to the former president's second impeachment and charges against over 300 people.

Biden confronts mounting humanitarian crisis at the border

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Pool/Getty Images     

Just over a month into his presidency, President Biden is staring down a mounting crisis at the border that could be just as bad as the ones faced by Barack Obama and Donald Trump, if not worse.

Why it matters: Immigration is an issue that can consume a presidency. It's intensely and poisonously partisan. It's complicated. And the lives and welfare of vulnerable children hang in the balance.