Feb 10, 2018

Intel officials have been working to get stolen documents from Russia

Photo: Mikhail Svetlov / Getty Images

The Intercept reports that the U.S. intelligence community has been "conducting a top-secret operation" to get back classified U.S. documents stolen by Russian operatives.

Why it matters: To retrieve the documents, the U.S. opened an "off-the-books communications channel" with Russia early last year. Per the Intercept, it's been "highly controversial" among the U.S. officials that knew about it, and "many involved...are said to be uncertain about what is really going on."

  • Through the channel, Russians have been looking to give U.S. officials documents they say regard Russian meddling in the election.
  • It's unknown if they are working on behalf of the Russian government, the Intercept reports.

But, but, but: The primary goal of the channel was "to recover stolen NSA documents" not to get information regarding the election hacking. A Russian group known as the Shadow Brokers stole "highly secret NSA hacking tools and began releasing them on the internet." It was after the channel was opened that the Russians began offering information about the election, and President Trump.

  • Some intelligence officials "are reluctant" to be involved with anything regarding the election meddling out of fear of retaliation from Trump, per the Intercept.

Go deeper

The business of tear gas

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

U.S. forces yesterday used tear gas on peaceful protesters outside the White House gates, prior to a declared curfew, clearing a path for President Trump to visit a riot-damaged church for a photo opportunity.

The state of play: Two of the largest U.S. producers of tear gas are owned by private equity firms, but those firms have no interest in discussing their ownership.

Exclusive: Washington Post makes major move into local news

People entering the Washington Post building in D.C. in 2019. Photo: Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images

The Washington Post has signed all 30 of McClatchy's local news outlets to its Zeus Performance product, a software that gives sites better speed, ad view-ability and performance, executives tell Axios.

Why it matters: By adding more local news outlets, The Post can start to build a local news ecosystem within its tech stack.

Biden: George Floyd's last words are "a wake-up call for our nation"

Former Vice President Joe Biden meets with clergy members and community activists during a visit to Bethel AME Church in Wilmington, Del. on June 1, 2020. Photo: JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images

Joe Biden will call George Floyd’s dying words “a wake-up call for our nation,” and criticize President Trump’s decision to unleash tear gas on peaceful protesters outside the White House, in a civil rights speech from Philadelphia on Tuesday.

Why it matters: Biden in the address will seek to draw a sharp contrast between himself and Trump, whose first remarks addressing nationwide unrest Monday highlighted law and order, extreme demonstrations of militarized “strength” and other blustery threats.