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Sen. Bernie Sanders announced on a livestream Monday that he's endorsing former Vice President Joe Biden, five days after suspending his own presidential campaign.

Why it matters: It's an effort to unify the Democratic Party behind the presumptive nominee after a divisive primary. "We have to make Trump a one-term president and we need you in the White House," Sanders told Biden.

The big picture: Sanders and Biden said they are forming task forces on health care, education, the economy, climate change, criminal justice and immigration — a sign of Biden's continued outreach to the progressive wing of the party.

  • "You've been the most powerful voice for a fair and more just America," Biden told Sanders. "You don't get enough credit, Bernie, for being the voice that forces us to take a hard look in the mirror."
  • Biden and Sanders asked each other a series of questions around some of these task force issues. Notably, Biden asked Sanders what policies could best help young people — a constituency that loves Sanders and one that he's been fighting for.
  • "I’m glad you are prepared to focus on that issue," Sanders told Biden. "It’s the right thing to do. If we believe in a strong democracy, which you do and I do ... [and] we understand in a competitive global economy we will need the most educated workforce in the world."

Between the lines: Now that Biden is nearly guaranteed the nomination, he will need Sanders' help in uniting the Democratic Party. That will be easier if progressives feel like they're getting something from Biden — policy concessions or personnel commitments for a potential Biden administration.

  • The task forces are a good start, but progressives will want something concrete — not just symbolic.
  • In 2016, Sanders and his movement fundamentally changed Democrats' policy discussion, bringing things like Medicare for All into the national conversation and changing some of the national party rules to be more transparent about the primary process.
  • Biden is unlikely to adopt Medicare for All, but the two have been talking for weeks and there are signs that Biden will meet Sanders in the middle on various issues.

What they're saying: "I know you are the kind of guy who is going to be inclusive," Sanders said to Biden.

  • "We are friends," Biden said. "I appreciate your friendship, and I promise you I will not let you down."

Go deeper: Biden and Sanders work toward truce on big issues

Go deeper

DOJ watchdog to probe whether officials sought to alter election results

Donald and Melania Trump exit Air Force One in West Palm Beach, Fla., on Jan. 20. Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images

The Justice Department's inspector general will investigate whether any current or former DOJ officials "engaged in an improper attempt to have DOJ seek to alter the outcome" of the 2020 election, the agency announced Monday.

Driving the news: The investigation comes in the wake of a New York Times report that alleged Jeffrey Clark, the head of DOJ's civil division, had plotted with President Trump to oust acting Attorney General Jeffery Rosen in a scheme to overturn the election results in Georgia.

2 hours ago - Podcasts

Google's chief health officer Karen DeSalvo on vaccinating America

Google on Monday became the latest Big Tech company to get involved with COVID-19 vaccinations. Not just by doing things like incorporating vaccination sites into its maps, but by helping to turn some of its offices and parking lots into vaccination sites.

Axios Re:Cap goes deeper into what Google is doing, and why now, with Dr. Karen DeSalvo, Google's chief health officer who previously worked at HHS and as health commissioner for New Orleans.

Biden signs order overturning Trump's transgender military ban

Photo: Tom Brenner/Getty Images

President Biden signed an executive order on Monday overturning the Trump administration's ban on transgender Americans serving in the military.

Why it matters: The ban, which allowed the military to bar openly transgender recruits and discharge people for not living as their sex assigned at birth, affected up to 15,000 service members, according to tallies from the National Center for Transgender Equality and Transgender American Veterans Association.

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