Zachary Basu
Zachary Basu
AM news editor @Axios • Foreign policy, national security, things of that nature • zach.basu@axios.comSource
Washington, DC
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Sen. Rand Paul tests positive for coronavirus

Sen. Rand Paul tests positive for coronavirus

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has tested positive for the coronavirus, his office announced on Twitter Sunday. Why it matters: He's the first U.S. senator to test positive. According to his office, Paul is asymptomatic and was not aware of making direct contact with an infected person. Paul, a licensed physician and notorious deficit hawk, was the only senator to vote against a bipartisan $8 billion deal to provide emergency coronavirus funding earlier this month. He sought to introduce an amendment that would take the funding from the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International...

March 22, 2020
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Biden eyes Russia adviser criticized as soft on Kremlin

Biden eyes Russia adviser criticized as soft on Kremlin

Photo: Alexander Shcherbak\TASS via Getty ImagesPresident Biden is considering appointing Matthew Rojansky, head of the Wilson Center's Kennan Institute, as Russia director on the National Security Council, according to a source familiar with the situation.Why it matters: Rojansky has been praised for his scholarship on Russia and is frequently cited in U.S. media for his expert commentary. But his work has drawn criticism — including in a 2018 from Ukrainian alumni of Kennan that blasted the think tank he runs as an "unwitting tool of Russia’s political interference."Background: Rojansky...

Apr 10
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Off the rails: Trump fixates on GOP disloyalty as mob ransacks Capitol

Off the rails: Trump fixates on GOP disloyalty as mob ransacks Capitol

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty ImagesBeginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.Episode 8: The siege. An inside account of the deadly insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6 that ultimately failed to block the certification of the Electoral College. And, finally, Trump's concession. On Jan. 6, White...

Jan 21
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Ex-CDC director says he believes coronavirus originated in Wuhan lab

Ex-CDC director says he believes coronavirus originated in Wuhan lab

Former CDC Director Robert Redfield told CNN on Friday that he believes the coronavirus "escaped" from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, and that it was spreading as early as September or October of 2019 — though he stressed that it was his "opinion."Why it matters: It's a stunning assertion, offered with little evidence, by the man who led the U.S. government's public health agency from the time the virus was first detected in Wuhan through the entirety of the Trump administration's response.The big picture: The debate over the origins of the coronavirus has been ongoing since the start of...

Mar 26
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U.S. intelligence finds Russia and Iran sought to influence 2020 election, but China did not

U.S. intelligence finds Russia and Iran sought to influence 2020 election, but China did not

Photo: Alexei Druzhinin\TASS via Getty ImagesThe Office of the Director of National Intelligence on Tuesday released a on foreign actors' attempts to influence and interfere in the 2020 election.The big picture: The U.S. intelligence community found that Russia and Iran conducted influence operations aimed at affecting the outcome of the election, but that China did not. The report found no indications that foreign actors attempted to alter any technical aspect of the voting process.Russia: U.S. intelligence agencies assessed that Russian President Vladimir Putin authorized influence...

Mar 16
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FBI: Trump-appointed State Department aide arrested in connection with Capitol riot

FBI: Trump-appointed State Department aide arrested in connection with Capitol riot

Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty ImagesThe FBI on Thursday arrested former State Department aide Federico Klein, a Trump appointee who worked on the former president's 2016 campaign, on charges related to the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol, according to a .Why it matters: The 42-year-old Klein is the first member of the Trump administration to be arrested in connection with the insurrection, which led to the former president's second impeachment and charges against .Details: Prior to resigning from the State Department on Jan. 19, Klein — whose arrest was — worked in the Office of Brazilian and...

Mar 5
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House and Senate to hold annual worldwide threats hearings canceled under Trump

House and Senate to hold annual worldwide threats hearings canceled under Trump

Sens. Mark Warner (L) and Marco Rubio, both members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, at the Atlantic Council in 2018. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesThe Senate and House intelligence committees will hold their annual hearings on worldwide threats on April 14 and 15, respectively, the panels announced Tuesday.Why it matters: The Senate hearing was after intelligence officials pushed for it to be held entirely behind closed doors, reportedly over concerns about contradicting former President Trump in public. The House Intelligence Committee, home to some of the Trump era's most...

Apr 6
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Off the rails: Inside the craziest meeting of the Trump presidency

Off the rails: Inside the craziest meeting of the Trump presidency

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Getty Images photos: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post, George Frey/BloombergLast month, Axios published "," a series taking you inside the end of Donald Trump's presidency, from his election loss to the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection that triggered his second impeachment — and a Senate trial set to begin next week.In this bonus edition, we take you back into those final weeks — to one long, unhinged night a week before Christmas, when an epic, profanity-soaked standoff played out with profound implications for the...

Feb 2
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Off the rails: Trump's premeditated election lie lit the fire

Off the rails: Trump's premeditated election lie lit the fire

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesBeginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.Episode 1: Trump’s refusal to believe the election results was premeditated. He had heard about the “red mirage” — the likelihood that early vote counts would tip more Republican than the final tallies — and he decided to...

Jan 16
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U.S. says Manafort associate passed sensitive polling data to Russian intelligence

U.S. says Manafort associate passed sensitive polling data to Russian intelligence

Via FBIThe U.S. government has Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian-Ukrainian political consultant indicted in the Mueller investigation in 2018, for carrying out election influence operations on behalf of Russian intelligence services.The big picture: The Senate Intelligence Committee's report on 2016 Russian election interference assessed that Kilimnik, who worked with former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort as a lobbyist for the pro-Russia president of Ukraine, is a .The intrigue: The U.S. government stated for the first time Thursday that Kilimnik provided Russian intelligence "with...

Apr 15
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