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Evan Vucci / AP

Huffington Post's Highline has a feature on Robert and Rebekah Mercer, the father-daughter billionaire part-owners of Breitbart and key funders of the Trump campaign, that focuses on their attempts to influence the 2016 race using their data firm, Cambridge Analytica. Some choice tidbits…

  • Summing up the Mercers' worldview: They want to destroy the GOP establishment — and have a particular distaste for John McCain, who once accused Robert's firm of avoiding billions in taxes. Robert on meeting Republican heavyweights: "I don't know any of your fancy friends, and I haven't got any interest in knowing them."
  • Trump's consequential move to drop Paul Manafort as his campaign manager and bring Kellyanne Conway and Steve Bannon on board was implemented four days after Rebekah Mercer pitched him the idea.
  • Rebekah's desired Trump administration: Bannon for chief of staff, Sessions for attorney general, Flynn as national security, and anybody but Mitt Romney as secretary of state.
  • But not everyone thinks highly of them. One of HuffPost's sources said about Robert, "None of us ever thought he would get his views out, because he only talked to his cats." And another on Rebekah: "She's just like a series of amoeba cells."

Go deeper

"Neanderthal thinking": Biden slams states lifting mask mandates

States that are relaxing coronavirus restrictions are making "a big mistake," President Biden told reporters on Wednesday, adding: "The last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking."

Driving the news: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said Wednesday he will end all coronavirus restrictions via executive order, although some businesses are continuing to ask patrons to wear face masks. Mississippi is lifting its mask mandate for all counties Wednesday, per Gov. Tate Reeves (R).

Cuomo: "I am not going to resign"

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo apologized Wednesday for acting in a way that made women feel "uncomfortable," but insisted that he has "never touched anyone inappropriately" and said he will not resign.

Driving the news: Cuomo reiterated in his first public appearance since sexual harassment allegations surfaced that he will fully cooperate with a team of independent investigators appointed by New York Attorney General Letitia James, but suggested that demands for his resignation from were simply "politics."

Facebook to lift political ad ban imposed after November election

Photo Illustration by Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Facebook will finally allow advertisers to resume running political and social issue ads in the U.S. on Thursday, according to a company update.

The big picture: Facebook and rival Google instituted political ad bans to slow the spread of misinformation and curb confusion around the presidential election and its aftermath.