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

Trump indulges Wall Street with Milken pardon

Photo Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Donald Trump loves Wall Street shenanigans. Companies owned by him have declared bankruptcy six different times, and he was once sued alongside Mike Milken for participating in a scheme to artificially inflate junk-bond prices.

Driving the news: Trump pardoned Milken this week, with an official statement positively gushing over Milken's role in developing the wilder side of fixed-income capital markets.

Situational awareness

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Catch up on today's biggest news:

  1. Roger Stone sentenced to 40 months in prison
  2. Top NSC official reassigned to Energy Department amid "Anonymous" fallout
  3. Morgan Stanley to buy E*Trade in $13 billion deal
  4. Coronavirus slams companies' 2020 sales projections
  5. Black activist group gives its first presidential endorsement to Elizabeth Warren

Coronavirus kills 2 Diamond Princess passengers and South Korea sees first death

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. U.S. numbers include Americans extracted from Princess Cruise ship.

Two elderly Diamond Princess passengers have been killed by the novel coronavirus — the first deaths confirmed among the more than 600 infected aboard the cruise ship. South Korea also announced its first death Thursday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed more than 2,100 people and infected over 75,000 others, mostly in mainland China, where the National Health Commission announced 114 new deaths since Wednesday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Health