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Rep. Lauren Boebert during the Electoral College debate. Photo: Congress.gov via Getty Images

The communications director for Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado, a firebrand Republican freshman who boasts about carrying a gun to work, has quit after less than two weeks on the job.

Why it matters: Ben Goldey’s resignation cited last week's insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, which came amid efforts by Boebert and other Republican lawmakers to block certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory. Her rhetoric on the issue mirrored President Trump's, which has fueled baseless election conspiracy theories and resulting violence.

What we’re hearing: Goldey said in a statement to Axios: "Following the events of January 6th, I’ve decided to part ways with the office. I wish her and the people of Colorado’s Third District the best."

Between the lines: Boebert is a strident Trump supporter firmly on the right flank of the House GOP caucus. She was clear about her views during her campaign, but they have suddenly become politically toxic following last week's attack.

  • Boebert’s quickly become a lightning rod by railing against “fraudulent” votes for Biden in a floor speech ahead of the attack, and by making a show — including in an ad filmed on the Hill — of her desire to carry a handgun in the Capitol.
  • Goldey, by contrast, has a more establishment pedigree. He was the press secretary at the Department of Interior until this year, and previously worked for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Be smart: Goldey’s resignation underscores larger Republican divisions, particularly in the House, where ten GOP members — including conference chair Rep. Liz Cheney — voted to impeach Trump on Wednesday.

  • The same divisions are evident on the other side of the Capitol. Sen. Ted Cruz's communications director, Lauren Blair Bianchi, also resigned on Monday, reportedly over Cruz's role in the effort to deny certification for Biden.
  • Trump has fueled the split since the election, demanding the president-elect’s win be overturned, helping incite the violence at the Capitol last week and remaining defiant about his behavior even as he faced his second impeachment by the House yesterday.

Go deeper

Senate Mischief Makers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

In a closely divided Congress, the Senate’s Mischief Makers could thwart their leaders' best-laid plans with their own agendas.

Why it matters: On Wednesday night, we shared a list of House members who our leadership sources on the Hill consider some of the top troublemakers. But their Senate counterparts may be even more impactful in a 50-50 chamber, where Vice President Kamala Harris holds the tiebreaking vote.

2 hours ago - World

U.S. will give Russians written response to NATO demands, Blinken says

Blinken and Lavrov shake hands in Geneva. Photo: Russian Foreign Ministry / Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Secretary of State Antony Blinken confirmed after a meeting with his Russian counterpart on Friday that the U.S. will provide written answers to Russia's security demands next week.

Why it matters: Russia claims to be waiting for "concrete answers" to its demands that NATO rule out further expansion and roll back its presence in eastern Europe before deciding its next steps on Ukraine. But the U.S. and NATO have called those proposals "non-starters," and Friday's meeting offered no breakthroughs, so it's unclear how written answers might change the equation.

More surprises await scientists at Antarctica's "Doomsday Glacier"

Cliffs along the edge of the Thwaites Ice Shelf in West Antarctica. Photo: James Yungel/NASA

Researchers like David Holland, an atmospheric scientist at New York University, are in a race to understand the fate of a massive glacier in West Antarctica that has earned a disquieting nickname: "The Doomsday Glacier."

Why it matters: Studies show the Thwaites Glacier (its official name) could already be on an irreversible course to melt during the next several decades to centuries, freeing up enough inland ice to raise global sea levels by at least several feet.