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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

Trump turns on Pence

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

"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."

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
19 mins ago - Economy & Business

Warren Buffett resigns from Gates Foundation board

Buffett and Bill Gates in 2015. Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation — the second-largest philanthropy in the world — is now governed by just two trustees, after Warren Buffett announced on Wednesday that he had resigned his position there.

Why it matters: The two remaining trustees, Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates, are going through a divorce.

Updated 39 mins ago - World

Russia says it fired warning shots at British destroyer in Black Sea

The HMS Defender in the port of Odessa on Ukraine's Black Sea coast on June 18. Photo: Konstantin Sazonchik\TASS via Getty Images

Russia's defense ministry claimed Wednesday that a Russian warship and fighter jet fired "warning" shots at the British Royal Navy’s HMS Defender destroyer for encroaching on waters near Crimea in the Black Sea.

The latest: The U.K.'s ministry of defense disputed that any warning shots were fired, saying in a statement, "We believe the Russians were undertaking a gunnery exercise in the Black Sea and provided the maritime community with prior-warning of their activity."