Vice President Mike Pence and national security adviser John Bolton. Photo: Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images

Unpublished footage obtained by the New York Times contradicts claims by the Trump administration that Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro was responsible for lighting a convoy of humanitarian aid on fire.

The big picture: The Times notes that Vice President Mike Pence, national security Adviser John Bolton and Sen. Marco Rubio had all referenced the burning of the trucks in their continued condemnation of the Maduro regime, with Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó joining in as well. But the new video suggests it was an errant Molotov cocktail thrown by an anti-government protestor that accidentally lit one of the trucks on fire.

  • Maduro did, however, order a military blockade to prevent the aid from being delivered, which ultimately led to the violent confrontation. When contacted by the Times, the National Security Council issued a toned-down statement saying, "Maduro is responsible for creating the conditions for violence."
  • The Times also notes that Maduro has lied about the desperate humanitarian conditions in his country, denying there are any food or medicine shortages at all. More than 3 million Venezuelans have fled the country as a result of the crisis.

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 18,187,396 — Total deaths: 691,352 — Total recoveries — 10,841,436Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 4,711,323 — Total deaths: 155,379 — Total recoveries: 1,513,446 — Total tests: 57,543,852Map.
  3. Politics: White House will require staff to undergo randomized coronavirus testing — Pelosi says Birx "enabled" Trump on misinformation.
  4. Sports: 13 members of St. Louis Cardinals test positive, prompting MLB to cancel Tigers series — Former FDA chief says MLB outbreaks should be warning sign for schools.
  5. 1 🎥 thing: "Tenet" may be the first major film to get a global pandemic release.

In photos: Thousands evacuated as Southern California fire grows

A plane makes a retardant drop on a ridge at the Apple Fire north of Banning in Riverside County, which "doubled in size" Saturday, per KTLA. Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

A massive wildfire that prompted mandatory evacuations in Southern California over the weekend burned 26,450 acres and was 5% contained by Monday afternoon, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said.

The big picture: As California remains an epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S., some 15 separate fires are raging across the state. About 7,800 people were under evacuation orders from the Apple Fire, about 75 miles east of Los Angeles, as hundreds of firefighters battled the blaze. CalFire said Monday that a malfunction involving a "diesel-fueled vehicle emitting burning carbon from the exhaust system" started the Apple Fire.

Twitter faces FTC fine of up to $250 million over alleged privacy violations

Photo: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket

The Federal Trade Commission has accused Twitter of using phone numbers and emails from its users to make targeted ads between 2013 and 2019, Twitter said in an SEC filing published Monday.

Why it matters: Twitter estimates that the FTC's draft complaint, which was sent a few days after its Q2 earnings report, could cost the company between $150 million and $250 million. The complaint is unrelated to the recent Twitter hack involving a bitcoin scam.