Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Rep. Devin Nunes, the author of the memo.

President Trump's Chief of Staff, Gen. John Kelly, said Wednesday that the White House plans to authorize the release of a controversial House Intelligence Committee memo "pretty quick." But the FBI shared a public statement expressing "grave concerns" about the memo's accuracy, and its impending release.

Why it matters: Republicans are anxious for the memo to become public, and have hinted that its release could be explosive. But Democrats and the FBI claim it's a highly flawed document that will just fuel the polarization surrounding the Russia probe.

What is it?

It's a four-page document written by GOP Rep. Devin Nunes — chairman of the House Intelligence Committee — containing classified information and alleging abuses by the FBI and the Justice Department. Democrats on the committee wrote their own memo countering some of the claims in the Nunes document, but that memo is not being released.

What's in it?

The memo includes the allegation that the FBI used the Trump-Russia dossier to obtain FISA wiretaps against American citizens — and claims that Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation is based entirely on the dossier. In a statement, the FBI said, "We have grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo's accuracy." And committee ranking member Rep. Adam Schiff, a Democrat, said, "This is not about the facts. This is about a misleading narrative that the chairman wants to put out to undermine the FBI and Robert Mueller" at an Axios event Wednesday.

Where things stand
  • Associate Attorney General Stephen Boyd sent a letter to the committee last Thursday, saying it would be "extraordinarily reckless" to release the memo — a move that drew Trump's ire.
  • Republicans on the intelligence committee voted along party lines to release the memo on Monday. They also voted not to release the Democrats' memo.
  • The FBI expressed concerns over the memo's release in a rare public statement.
  • Trump makes the call on declassifying on the memo, and he intends to do so. A senior administration official told reporters he "doubts" there will be any redactions. "It’s in Congress’ hands after that,” he said.

Go deeper

Scoop: Gina Haspel threatened to resign over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy

CIA Director Gina Haspel. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

CIA Director Gina Haspel threatened to resign in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelation stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency. Only a series of coincidences — and last minute interventions from Vice President Mike Pence and White House counsel Pat Cipollone — stopped it.

Updated 10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution — Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan — Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.

John Weaver, Lincoln Project co-founder, acknowledges “inappropriate” messages

John Weaver aboard John McCain's campaign plane in February 2000. Photo: Robert Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images)

John Weaver, a veteran Republican operative who co-founded the Lincoln Project, declared in a statement to Axios on Friday that he sent “inappropriate,” sexually charged messages to multiple men.

  • “To the men I made uncomfortable through my messages that I viewed as consensual mutual conversations at the time: I am truly sorry. They were inappropriate and it was because of my failings that this discomfort was brought on you,” Weaver said.
  • “The truth is that I'm gay,” he added. “And that I have a wife and two kids who I love. My inability to reconcile those two truths has led to this agonizing place.”