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Axios' Politics and White House editor Margaret Talev (left) and Lincoln Project co-founder Steve Schmidt.

Trumpism is a “noxious weed” and America needs to root it out, Lincoln Project co-founder Steve Schmidt said Friday at a virtual Axios event.

Why it matters: Schmidt views Trumpism as an attempt to subvert American democracy, and he co-founded the Lincoln Project with other Republicans to prevent Trump from winning a second term.

The state of play: Trumpism’s “authoritarian ideology with fascistic markers” is part of a global movement, according to Schmidt, and the need to reform democratic values is strong both domestically and internationally.

  • “We will advocate and work with democratic partners to advance a new civil rights act in this country, a Voting Rights Act in this country, Election Security Act, protections from foreign interference, Election Day modernization.”
  • Schmidt also warned that the rise of QAnon — especially growing support for QAnon believers running for office — is a precursor to a Republican Party even “crazier than it is today.”

Where it stands: The Lincoln Project invested in battleground states during the 2020 presidential campaign, pursuing grassroots activity and partnering with various high-profile figures.

  • Early indicators show success in reaching Republicans in critical states like Wisconsin, according to Schmidt.

Watch the event.

Go deeper

Off the Rails

Episode 7: Trump turns on Pence

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photos: Elijah Nouvelage, Alex Wong/Getty Images

Beginning 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 7: Trump turns on Pence. Trump believes the vice president can solve all his problems by simply refusing to certify the Electoral College results. It's a simple test of loyalty: Trump or the U.S. Constitution.

"The end is coming, Donald."

The male voice in the TV ad boomed through the White House residence during "Fox & Friends" commercial breaks. Over and over and over. "The end is coming, Donald. ... On Jan. 6, Mike Pence will put the nail in your political coffin."

Scoop: Border officials project 13,000 child migrants in May

The "El Chaparral" border crossing at Tijuana. Photo: Stringer/Picture Alliance via Getty Images

A Customs and Border Protection staffer told top administration officials Thursday the agency is projecting a peak of 13,000 unaccompanied children crossing the border in May, sources directly familiar with the discussion told Axios.

Why it matters: That projection would exceed the height of the 2019 crisis, which led to the infamous "kids-in-cages" disaster. It also underscores a rapidly escalating crisis for the Biden administration.

7 hours ago - World

U.S. strikes Iran-backed militia facilities in Syria

President Biden at the Pentagon on Feb. 10. Photo: Alex Brandon - Pool/Getty Images

The United States on Thursday carried out an airstrike against facilities in Syria linked to an Iran-backed militia group, the Pentagon announced.

The state of play: The strike, approved by President Biden, comes "in response to recent attacks against American and Coalition personnel in Iraq, and to ongoing threats to those personnel," Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said in a statement.