Updated Jul 14, 2019

Trump abandoned Iran nuclear deal to "spite Obama," U.K. leak claims

President Trump and former President Obama. Photo: Rob Carr/Getty Images

The suspected leaker of confidential cables from Britain's ambassador to the U.S. has been identified, the Sunday Times reports, as fresh leaks to the Mail on Sunday claim President Trump abandoned the Iran nuclear deal to "spite" predecessor Barack Obama.

Details: The latest leak shows Kim Darroch, who resigned Wednesday, expressed his thoughts on the Iran situation to then-Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson — the front-runner to replace Prime Minister Theresa May as Conservative Party leader. He wrote that Trump withdrew the U.S. from the 2015 agreement for "personality reasons" as it was the former president's pact.

"The outcome illustrated the paradox of this White House: you got exceptional access, seeing everyone short of the president; but on the substance, the administration is set upon an act of diplomatic vandalism, seemingly for ideological and personality reasons — it was Obama's deal.
"Moreover, they can't articulate any 'day-after' strategy; and contacts with State Department this morning suggest no sort of plan for reaching out to partners and allies, whether in Europe or the region."
— Leaked Kim Darroch memo

The big picture: British Police said Friday they had launched a criminal investigation into the source of the leaks. The Sunday Times quoted an unnamed British government source as saying that the suspected leaker had been identified and investigators had ruled out that the leak was the result of a computer hack by a foreign state.

  • The Sunday Times reported that Member of European Parliament Richard Tice, the chairman of Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party, was implicated in the leaks scandal as he's dating Isabel Oakeshott, the Mail on Sunday journalist who's been writing the Darroch articles.

What they’re saying: Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu's warned journalists not to report on leaked diplomatic memos — prompting criticisms from Johnson and his leadership rival, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, the BBC reports. Johnson said it's right for the leaker to be "hunted down and prosecuted," but it's wrong for police to target the media, according to the BBC.

This article has been updated with more details, including comment from Johnson and Hunt.

Go deeper: What ambassadors say about Trump

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 p.m. ET: 5,405,029 — Total deaths: 344,997 — Total recoveries — 2,168,408Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 p.m. ET: 1,642,021 — Total deaths: 97,698 — Total recoveries: 366,736 — Total tested: 14,163,195Map.
  3. World: White House announces travel restrictions on Brazil, coronavirus hotspot in Southern Hemisphere Over 100 coronavirus cases in Germany tied to single day of church services — Boris Johnson backs top aide amid reports that he broke U.K. lockdown while exhibiting symptoms.
  4. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks headed into Memorial Day weekend Report finds "little evidence" coronavirus under control in most statesHurricanes, wildfires, the flu could strain COVID-19 response
  5. Economy: White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Public employees brace for layoffs.
  6. Federal government: Trump attacks a Columbia University study that suggests earlier lockdown could have saved 36,000 American lives.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 15 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Republicans sue California over mail-out ballot plan

California Gov. Gavin Newsom during a February news conference in Sacramento, California. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

President Trump accused Democrats of trying "Rig" November's general election as Republican groups filed a lawsuit against California Sunday in an attempt to stop Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) from mailing ballots to all registered voters.

Driving the news: Newsom signed an executive order this month in response to the coronavirus pandemic ensuring that all registered voters in the state receive a mail-in ballot.

Federal judge strikes down Florida law requiring felons to pay fines before voting

Gov. Ron DeSantis. Photo: oe Raedle/Getty Images

A federal judge on Sunday ruled that a Florida law requiring convicted felons to pay all court fines and fees before registering to vote is unconstitutional.

Why it matters: The ruling, which will likely be appealed by state Republicans, would clear the way for hundreds of thousands of ex-felons in Florida to register to vote ahead of November's election.