Sep 13, 2018

House Republicans block Democrats' request for Trump-Putin meeting details

Photo: Chris McGrath/Getty Images

House Foreign Affairs Committee Republicans have rejected Democrats' request that the State Department turn over documents that would explain what President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed in their July one-on-one meeting in Helsinki.

Why it matters: Lawmakers and Americans still don’t know the substance of what was discussed during Trump’s meeting with Putin, but there is no momentum from the Republican majority on Capitol Hill to compel those details from the administration. A previous Democratic motion to subpoena the interpreter in the room was blocked by Republicans as well.

The big picture: Intelligence officials may know what was discussed, but until more details emerge, 51% of voters believe Putin has something on Trump and even Republican lawmakers are saying Trump is an active participant in Russia's disinformation campaign. His own director of national intelligence, Dan Coats, said he wishes Trump took a different tack in Helsinki.

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Scoop: Census Bureau is paying Chinese state media to reach Americans

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The 2020 Census Paid Media Campaign, which sends U.S. taxpayer dollars to community media outlets to run ads about the upcoming census, is including a Chinese state-run broadcaster as one of its media vendors.

Why it matters: After China's yearslong campaign to co-opt independent Chinese-language media in the U.S., Washington is now paying Beijing-linked media outlets in order to reach Chinese Americans.

Go deeperArrow25 mins ago - World

Live updates: Coronavirus spreads to Latin America

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

Brazil confirmed the first novel coronavirus case in Latin America Wednesday — a 61-year-old that tested positive after returning from a visit to northern Italy, the epicenter of Europe's outbreak.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,700 people and infected over 81,000 others. By Wednesday morning, South Korea had the most cases outside China, with 1,261 infections. Europe's biggest outbreak is in Italy, where 374 cases have been confirmed.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health

GOP congressman accuses California pension official of working for China

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

The latest season of Red Scare has come to Sacramento.

Driving the news: Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) has repeatedly accused Ben Meng, chief investment officer of the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS), of tacitly working on behalf of the Chinese government. Banks also says that, were it up to him, Meng would be fired — and has questioned the patriotism of California Gov. Gavin Newsom for not at least investigating Meng.

Go deeperArrow2 hours ago - World