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Photo: Illustration by Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Trump administration "secretly sought and obtained" the phone and email records of CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr, CNN reported Thursday.

Why it matters: The disclosure comes less than two weeks after it was revealed that former President Trump's Justice Department obtained phone records of three Washington Post reporters in 2017.

The big picture: In a letter from the Department of Justice on May 13, Starr was informed that federal prosecutors had obtained her phone and email records from June 1, 2017 to July 31, 2017, per CNN.

  • These included her work, home, and cell phone numbers, as well as her personal and work emails accounts.

Of note: Though the records were sought through the courts last year, it's unclear exactly when the investigation was opened and whether Jeff Sessions or Bill Barr was attorney general.

  • It's also unclear what precisely the Trump administration was looking for in the records, per CNN.
  • A DOJ official confirmed Starr herself was never under investigation, CNN added.

What they're saying: "CNN strongly condemns the secret collection of any aspect of a journalist's correspondence, which is clearly protected by the First Amendment," said CNN President Jeff Zucker.

  • "We are asking for an immediate meeting with the Justice Department for an explanation."

Go deeper

Reports: Trump Organization CFO under criminal tax investigation

Former President Trump and Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg at Trump Tower in New York City in 2017. Photo: Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images

The New York attorney general's office has begun a criminal tax investigation into Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg, CNN first reported Wednesday.

Why it matters: Weisselberg has not been accused of any wrongdoing, but investigators are pushing for him to cooperate with them in their investigation into former President Trump's organization, per CNN and the New York Times.

CNN acknowledges Chris Cuomo joined his brother's strategy calls on sexual harassment accusations

Chris Cuomo in May 2019. Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for WarnerMedia

CNN acknowledged Thursday that anchor Chris Cuomo joined strategy sessions with his brother, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, in the wake of sexual harassment accusations against him, through a statement to the Washington Post.

Why it matters: Although CNN said Cuomo has not been involved in the outlet's coverage of the allegations, the calls detailed by the Post show that the anchor advised his brother's staff on how to respond to the accusations — which "cuts against the widely accepted norm in journalism that those reporting the news should not be involved in politics," the Post writes.

What they're saying: “Chris has not been involved in CNN’s extensive coverage of the allegations against Governor Cuomo — on air or behind the scenes,” the network's statement to WashPost reads. “In part because, as he has said on his show, he could never be objective. But also because he often serves as a sounding board for his brother.”

  • “However, it was inappropriate to engage in conversations that included members of the Governor’s staff, which Chris acknowledges,” the statement added. “He will not participate in such conversations going forward.”
  • CNN said the anchor will not be penalized.

Go deeper:

The prison phone kickback game

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Incarcerated people and their families pay high rates to talk by phone in part because the deals phone companies cut with prisons and jails drive the prices up — and the Federal Communications Commission is looking to lower them.

Why it matters: People who stay in contact with friends and family while in prison are more likely to succeed once they're out.