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

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Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf and Trump. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

The House Intelligence Committee received a whistleblower complaint from a former senior Department of Homeland Security official who alleges he was instructed to "cease providing intelligence assessments on the threat of Russian interference in the United States" because it "made the president look bad," Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) announced Wednesday.

The big picture: U.S. intelligence officials have concluded that Russia is actively seeking to denigrate Joe Biden to assist President Trump ahead of the election.

  • The whistleblower, former intelligence and analysis acting undersecretary Brian Murphy, alleges that he was told to instead start reporting on interference activities by China and Iran, which he did not believe were on par with the actions of Russia.
  • Murphy alleges that he was told by acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf that the instructions came specifically from White House national security adviser Robert O'Brien.

The whistleblower complaint also alleges that acting DHS deputy secretary Ken Cuccinelli directed Murphy to modify a Homeland Threat Assessment report to make the threat of white supremacist violence "appear less severe."

Read the full whistleblower complaint.

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.

Go deeper

Dec 2, 2020 - Technology

U.S. labor board says Google spied on, illegally fired workers

Google broke U.S. law by spying on workers who had organized protests and firing two of them in retaliation, the National Labor Relations Board alleges in a complaint filed Wednesday, according to the Worker Agency, an advocacy group representing labor campaigns.

Why it matters: The complaint is a major rebuff to practices at Google, a behemoth that's seen its share of worker discontent over its contracts and internal policies.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: U.S. ahead of pace on vaccines.
  2. Health: Lessons for trapping the next pandemic.
  3. Tech: "Fludemic" model accurately maps COVID hotspotsVirtual doctor's visits and digital health tools take off.
  4. Politics: Harris breaks tie as Senate proceeds with lengthy debate on COVID relief bill — Republican governor of West Virginia says there's no plan to lift mask mandate.
  5. World: Canada vaccine panel recommends 4 months between doses — In AstraZeneca spat, EU fights hard for a vaccine its hardly using.
Dave Lawler, author of World
2 hours ago - World

In AstraZeneca spat, EU fights hard for a vaccine it's hardly using

Macron, Merkel and European Council President Charles Michel (R) at a summit in October. Photo: Yves Herman/Pool/AFP via Getty

Italy on Thursday blocked the export of 250,000 AstraZeneca doses to Australia, becoming the first EU country to exercise an export ban due to a vaccine shortfall in the bloc.

Why it matters: The controversial step exposes multiple major challenges to distributing vaccines — even among the world’s richest countries.

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