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Donald Trump Jr. with Ivanka Trump on Nov. 4 in the White House. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

As officials were counting ballots well into a second day, Donald Trump Jr. sent a full-throated call on Twitter for "2024 GOP hopefuls" to defend President Trump by amplifying unsubstantiated accusations of election irregularities. Within minutes, a number of Republicans rushed to social media to defend the president.

Why it matters: The quick response shows the huge hold the Trump family has on the Republican Party, even as the president is on the cusp of defeat.

Thursday's timeline:
  • 3:48 p.m.: Donald Trump Jr. highlights the "total lack of action" from "all of the '2024 GOP hopefuls'" in a tweet and calls on them to show that "they’re willing & able to fight" for President Trump.
  • 3:50 p.m.: Donald Trump Jr. tweets his thanks to Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.), saying the governor has been "[o]ne notable exception" and "has been active and vocal."
  • 4:06 p.m.: Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) calls on his supporters in a tweet to donate to President Trump's legal defense team to support election litigation, writing, "All votes that are 'legally' cast should be counted."
  • 4:31 p.m.: Nikki Haley, former South Carolina governor and UN ambassador, tweets "We all owe [Donald Trump] for his leadership of conservative victories for Senate, House, & state legislatures. He and the American people deserve transparency & fairness as the votes are counted."
  • 4:34 p.m.: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) retweets a now-flagged video of a man claiming to be a Philadelphia poll watcher and said he’d been barred from closely observing the counting process. Cruz also claims, without evidence, that "Dem mayors are defying the law."
  • 4:35 p.m.: Sen. Cotton tweets again, calling on "EVERY Republican" to assist President Trump's legal fund and support Sens. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) and David Perdue (R-Ga.) in their upcoming special elections. (At the time, Perdue had not dipped below 50% of the vote and was on track to re-election.)
  • 4:53 p.m.: Donald Trump Jr. tweets that Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) is another exception to his original tweet.
  • 6:46 p.m.: President Trump holds a briefing from the White House and makes multiple baseless claims that widespread voter fraud had caused his lead in the presidential race to "miraculously" slip away.
  • 8:07 p.m.: Sen. Hawley appears on "Tucker Carlson Tonight" and demands for "transparency" and "integrity" in the vote-counting process.
  • 9:33 p.m.: Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) appears on "Hannity" and defends President Trump's baseless claims of election fraud and announces that he will donate $500,000 to Trump's legal defense fund.
  • 9:36 p.m.: Cruz also appears on "Hannity" and calls this year's election process "outrageous," "partisan" and "lawless."

The big picture: A number of Republicans, including top Trump adviser Chris Christie, rebuked the president and his campaign after the briefing for failing to provide evidence for their claims that Democrats are "stealing" the election.

Go deeper: Trump's last stand against the truth

Go deeper

Senate Mischief Makers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

In a closely divided Congress, the Senate’s Mischief Makers could thwart their leaders' best-laid plans with their own agendas.

Why it matters: On Wednesday night, we shared a list of House members who our leadership sources on the Hill consider some of the top troublemakers. But their Senate counterparts may be even more impactful in a 50-50 chamber, where Vice President Kamala Harris holds the tiebreaking vote.

1 hour ago - World

Olaf Scholz sworn in as German chancellor, succeeding Merkel

Incoming German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is sworn in by Bundestag President Bärbel Bas in Berlin today. Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Social Democrat Olaf Scholz was sworn in as chancellor of Germany on Wednesday, succeeding Angela Merkel after 16 years and launching a new era of German and European politics.

Why it matters: Scholz, a center-left pragmatist who served as finance minister and vice chancellor in Merkel's last government, will lead Europe's largest economy in a coalition with the environmentalist Greens and pro-business Free Democrats.

Instagram's boss faces Congress' questions on harm to teens

Photo illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios. Photo: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for WIRED

The head of Instagram will find himself in Congress' crosshairs for the first time Wednesday in the one area lawmakers have shown they are willing to pass tech regulations — protecting youngsters online.

Why it matters: Republicans and Democrats have found common ground in grilling tech companies on how their products harm children, especially after revelations in The Wall Street Journal about Instagram's potential harm to the mental health of teen girls.

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