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Joe Biden. Screenshot: His announcement video

Joseph Robinette Biden is running for president for the 3rd time in 4 decades, with an announcement video focused on President Trump's response to the racist march in Charlottesville.

What they're saying: "Biden’s sister and longtime political confidante, Valerie Biden Owens, described Trump’s comments as a 'blow' to the man who had served as the No. 2 to America’s first black president," the AP reports.

  • “'It really started percolating, and the essence of this was Charlottesville,' Biden Owens said. 'I can tell you that was a major motivating moment for my brother, and the entire family.'”
  • Watch the video.

Why it matters: Absent a big surprise, the Democratic field is now set, with neither of the two early frontrunners bowing out.

Your cheat sheet on Biden launch day:

  • Trump welcomed him with a mean tweet: “Welcome to the race Sleepy Joe. I only hope you have the intelligence, long in doubt, to wage a successful primary campaign."
  • There was no immediate Obama endorsement (Biden claims he asked his former boss not to deliver one.)
  • And Biden hired Bernie's 2016 press secretary, Symone Sanders, to advise the campaign.
  • Biden called "Anita Hill earlier this month to express his regret over 'what she endured' testifying against Justice Clarence Thomas at the 1991 Supreme Court hearings," the NYT reports.
  • "But Ms. Hill ... said she left the conversation feeling deeply unsatisfied and declined to characterize his words to her as an apology."
  • "She said she is not convinced that Mr. Biden truly accepts the harm he caused her and other women who suffered sexual harassment and gender violence."

Chris Christie to Tina Brown: “If Biden can make it through the primaries, he’s the one Dem candidate who appeals to the white working-class voters who handed the election to Trump — and could hand 2020 to Biden instead."

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 11 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.”