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President Trump and Attorney General Bill Barr in the halls of the White House. Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

President Trump has directed the intelligence community to "quickly and fully cooperate" with Attorney General Bill Barr's investigation into the origins of the Russia probe.

Why it matters: The president's desire to examine Obama-era investigators is now in full swing. Trump has also given Barr unilateral authority to declassify relevant documents as he sees fit.

The backdrop: Trump's allies in Congress have pledged to investigate potential abuses by the intelligence community during the 2016 election — specifically whether the Russia probe was politically motivated.

  • Last month, Barr testified before a Senate panel, stating that spying by law enforcement officials on the 2016 Trump campaign "did occur." He later clarified that he wasn't saying improper surveillance occurred, but that he's "looking into it."

Statement from White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders:

"Today, at the request and recommendation of the Attorney General of the United States, President Donald J. Trump directed the intelligence community to quickly and fully cooperate with the Attorney General’s investigation into surveillance activities during the 2016 Presidential election. The Attorney General has also been delegated full and complete authority to declassify information pertaining to this investigation, in accordance with the long-established standards for handling classified information. Today’s action will help ensure that all Americans learn the truth about the events that occurred, and the actions that were taken, during the last Presidential election and will restore confidence in our public institutions."

Go deeper: Barr builds team to review FBI's actions during Trump investigation

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Updated 2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Our make-believe economy is here to stay

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The Federal Reserve and global central banks are remaking the world's economy in an effort to save it, but have created something of a monster.

Why it matters: The Fed-driven economy relies on the creation of trillions of dollars — literally out of thin air — that are used to purchase bonds and push money into a pandemic-ravaged economy that has long been dependent on free cash and is only growing more addicted.

Mike Allen, author of AM
4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Why Trump may still fire Barr

Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Attorney General Barr may be fired or resign, as President Trump seethes about Barr's statement this week that no widespread voter fraud has been found.

Behind the scenes: A source familiar with the president's thinking tells Axios that Trump remains frustrated with what he sees as the lack of a vigorous investigation into his election conspiracy theories.

Mike Allen, author of AM
4 hours ago - World

Scoop: Trump's spy chief plans dire China warning

Xi Jinping reviews troops during a military parade in Beijing last year. Photo: Thomas Peter/Reuters

Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe on Thursday will publicly warn that China's threat to the U.S. is a defining issue of our time, a senior administration official tells Axios.

Why it matters: It's exceedingly rare for the head of the U.S. intelligence community to make public accusations about a rival power.