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Bernie Sanders speaks during a campaign rally on Saturday in El Paso, Texas. Photo: Cengiz Yar/Getty Images

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders announced on CBS' "60 Minutes" Sunday a new plan to guarantee free child care and pre-kindergarten to all American children from infancy to age 4.

Details: In the wide-ranging interview, Sanders told Anderson Cooper he planned to pay for universal child care with a wealth tax. "It's taxes on billionaires," he said.

"I get a little bit tired of hearing my opponents saying — 'Gee, how you going to pay for a program that impacts and helps children or working-class families or middle-class families? How you going to pay for that?' And yet, where are people saying, 'How are you going to pay for over $750 billion on military spending?' How you going to pay for a trillion dollars in tax breaks to the 1% in large corporations which was what Trump did? When you help the billionaires and you help Wall Street, 'Hey!' Of course we can pay for it. That's what America's supposed to be about.' Well, I disagree."
— Bernie Sanders on "60 Minutes"

Funding plans: Cooper pushed Sanders on how he plans to fund Medicare for All, free public college, the Green New Deal and student debt cancellation.

  • "Making public colleges and universities tuition-free and canceling all student debt. ... We pay for that through a modest tax on Wall Street speculation," Sanders said.
  • "I can't rattle off to you every nickel and every dime. But we have accounted for ... you talked about Medicare for All. We have options out there that will pay for it."

What else he's saying: In the interview, Sanders also accepted when put to him by Cooper that he's now the Democratic front-runner after he was projected to win the Nevada Democratic caucuses, calling the situation "a bit shocking."

  • Sanders, who is due to turn 79 in September, defended concerns about his age and health following his heart attack last October, saying: "Being old has an advantage in the sense that the issues that I fight for are not new to me."
  • Sanders also criticized 2020 Democratic rival Mike Bloomberg over his stop-and-frisk policy while New York mayor, calling the policy "horrifically racist." But he said he would back the billionaire if he were the eventual nominee.
  • And he addressed his Senate achievement record, following criticism from other Democratic candidates.

Go deeper: Bernie's juggernaut

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

Go deeper

Scoop: Gina Haspel threatened to resign over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy

CIA Director Gina Haspel. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

CIA Director Gina Haspel threatened to resign in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelation stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency. Only a series of coincidences — and last minute interventions from Vice President Mike Pence and White House counsel Pat Cipollone — stopped it.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution — Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan — Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.

John Weaver, Lincoln Project co-founder, acknowledges “inappropriate” messages

John Weaver aboard John McCain's campaign plane in February 2000. Photo: Robert Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images)

John Weaver, a veteran Republican operative who co-founded the Lincoln Project, declared in a statement to Axios on Friday that he sent “inappropriate,” sexually charged messages to multiple men.

  • “To the men I made uncomfortable through my messages that I viewed as consensual mutual conversations at the time: I am truly sorry. They were inappropriate and it was because of my failings that this discomfort was brought on you,” Weaver said.
  • “The truth is that I'm gay,” he added. “And that I have a wife and two kids who I love. My inability to reconcile those two truths has led to this agonizing place.”