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Bernie Sanders during a campaign rally in Austin, Texas, on Sunday. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee issued a scathing statement after Sen. Bernie Sanders tweeted he refuses to attend AIPAC's conference because he's concerned it provides a platform "for leaders who express bigotry and oppose basic Palestinian rights."

Why it matters: Sanders' statement on why he won't attend the pro-Israel lobby group's March 1–3 conference in Washington, D.C. — which AIPAC called an "odious attack" — comes a day after he comprehensively won the Nevada caucuses, making him the clear front-runner in the Democratic presidential race.

  • Per Axios' Jonathan Swan, AIPAC's statement is the strongest it's ever made against a top presidential candidate.

Between the lines: Sanders didn't name anyone in his statement. But he has previously denounced as "racist" Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who addressed the AIPAC conference just last year.

Go deeper:

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Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
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Be smart: There will be a coronavirus vaccine for adults long before there is one for kids.

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Sen. Kelly Loeffler to return to campaign trail after 2nd negative test

Sen. Kelly Loeffler addresses supporters during a rally on Thursday. Photo: Jessica McGowan/Getty Images

Sen. Kelly Loeffler's (R-Ga.) campaign announced Monday that she "looks forward to getting back out on the campaign trail" after testing negative for COVID-19 for a second time, following earlier conflicting results.

Why it matters: Loeffler has been campaigning at events ahead of a Jan. 5 runoff in elections that'll decide which party holds the Senate majority. Vice President Mike Pence was with her on Friday.

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Key government agency says Biden transition can formally begin

General Services Administrator Emily Murphy. Photo: Alex Edelman/CNP/Getty Images

General Services Administrator Emily Murphy said in a letter to President-elect Joe Biden on Monday that she has determined the transition from the Trump administration can formally begin.

Why it matters: Murphy, a Trump appointee, had come under fire for delaying the so-called "ascertainment" and withholding the funds and information needed for the transition to begin while Trump's legal challenges played out.