Mar 4, 2017

The White House race to figure out Trump's wiretap allegations

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

The NYT has a wrap on the Trump White House's scramble to respond to the president accusing former President Obama — over Twitter, nonetheless, of wiretapping him during the campaign. Paragraphs 9 and 10 are rather interesting:

But a senior White House official said that Donald F. McGahn II, the president's chief counsel, was working on Saturday to secure access to what Mr. McGahn believed was an order issued by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court authorizing some form of surveillance related to Mr. Trump and his associates.
The official offered no evidence to support the notion that such an order exists. If one does, it would be highly unusual for a White House to order the Justice Department to turn over such an investigative document, given the traditional independence of law enforcement matters.

Why it matters: Pay attention to how the Obama folks worded their denial of ordering a tap on Trump. They explicitly said presidents can't order — and don't have access to — such actions during active investigations. If there is such an active investigation, the White House would be entering unusual territory seeking access to it.

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Intelligence community watchdog suggests Trump fired him for doing his job

Michael Atkinson, Inspector General of the Intelligence Community,at the Capitol in October. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson said suggested in a statement Sunday President Trump fired him for "having faithfully discharged my legal obligations."

Why it matters: Atkinson alerted Congress last September to the whistleblower complaint that triggered Trump's impeachment. The firing is part of a broader push to purge the administration of officials deemed disloyal to the president.

Go deeper: Trump's new purge

Editor's note: This is a developing news story. Please check back for updates.

U.S. coronavirus updates: Death toll passes 9,500

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Recorded deaths from the novel coronavirus surpassed 9,500 in the U.S. Sunday evening, per Johns Hopkins data. The death toll in the U.S. has risen over 1,000 every day since April 1.

Why it matters: U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said on Sunday this upcoming week will be "the hardest and saddest week of most Americans' lives" — calling it our "our Pearl Harbor, our 9/11 moment."

Go deeperArrowUpdated 45 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 1,273,794 — Total deaths: 69,419 — Total recoveries: 260,193Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 337,274 — Total deaths: 9,633 — Total recoveries: 17,449Map.
  3. Federal government latest: Surgeon general says this week will be "our Pearl Harbor, our 9/11 moment." The USDA confirms that a Bronx zoo tiger tested positive for coronavirus.
  4. 2020 latest: "We have no contingency plan," Trump said on the 2020 Republican National Convention. Biden says DNC may have to hold virtual convention.
  5. States updates: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state is "literally going day-to-day" with supplies.
  6. World update: Queen Elizabeth II urges the British people to confront pandemic with "self-discipline" and "resolve" in rare televised address.
  7. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal health. Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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