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The whistleblower complaint regarding the Trump administration's interactions with Ukraine alleges that the White House attempted to "lock down" the memo summarizing President Trump's July phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in a sensitive computer system designed to hold national security information.

Why it matters: A footnote in the complaint states that the computer system is used for "codeword-level intelligence information, such as covert action," and claims that White House officials stated that it was not the first time that the Trump administration had used the system "for the purpose of protecting politically sensitive — rather than national security sensitive — information."

  • The complaint states that a White House official called this action "an act of abuse" because the call "did not contain anything remotely sensitive from a national security perspective" — backed up by the fact that the released memo did not include any notable redactions.
  • It also notes that the memo was removed from the system "in which such transcripts are typically stored for coordination, finalization and distribution to Cabinet-level officials."

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 10 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Fauci says he accepted Biden's offer to be chief medical adviser "on the spot" — Biden plans to ask public to wear masks for first 100 days in office.
  2. Health: Coronavirus death rates rising across the country — Study: Increased COVID-19 testing can reduce transmission — Hospitalizations top 100,000 for the first time.
  3. Economy: U.S. economy adds 245,000 jobs in November as recovery slows — America's hidden depression: K-shaped recovery threatens Biden administration.
  4. Vaccine: What COVID-19 vaccine trials still need to do — Obama, Bush and Clinton willing to take vaccine in public —WSJ: Pfizer expects to ship half as many COVID vaccines as planned in 2020.
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Clean trucks are paving the road to the electric vehicle era

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The electric vehicle revolution is underway, led by the un-sexiest of plug-in models: the commercial truck.

Why it matters: Growing demand for cleaner trucks means 2021 will be a pivotal year for electric vehicles — just not the kind you might have expected.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
4 hours ago - Economy & Business

The fragile recovery

Data: Department of Labor; Chart: Axios Visuals

The number of people receiving unemployment benefits is falling but remains remarkably high three weeks before pandemic assistance programs are set to expire. More than 1 million people a week are still filing for initial jobless claims, including nearly 300,000 applying for pandemic assistance.

By the numbers: As of Nov. 14, 20.2 million Americans were receiving unemployment benefits of some kind, including more than 13.4 million on the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) programs that were created as part of the CARES Act and end on Dec. 26.