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Breitbart News has published a leaked tape of Paul Ryan telling Republican House members he wouldn't defend Donald Trump over the "Access Hollywood" tape.

I am not going to defend Donald Trump—not now, not in the future.

Ryan continues in the tape: "As you probably heard, I disinvited him from my first congressional district GOP event this weekend—a thing I do every year. And I'm not going to be campaigning with him over the next 30 days."

Why this matters: The timing of the leak. Breitbart is echoing a strategy that we foreshadowed over the weekend: conservatives who want to kill the House Obamacare replacement plan are trying to sow divisions between Ryan and Trump. This tape dredges up painful old memories from the campaign trail of when Ryan abandoned Trump.

These conservatives know the President prizes personal loyalty over all else. Trump often talks about who was with him and who wasn't. In that frame — it's one thing for Trump to read about Ryan's words in the papers. It's quite another for him to hear the audio.

Go deeper

Biden explains justification for Syria strike in letter to Congress

Photo: Chris Kleponis/CNP/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden told congressional leadership in a letter Saturday that this week's airstrike against facilities in Syria linked to Iranian-backed militia groups was consistent with the U.S. right to self-defense.

Why it matters: Some Democrats, including Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), have criticized the Biden administration for the strike and demanded a briefing.

9 hours ago - Health

FDA authorizes Johnson & Johnson's one-shot COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use

Photo: Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration on Saturday issued an emergency use authorization for Johnson & Johnson's one-shot coronavirus vaccine.

Why it matters: The authorization of a third coronavirus vaccine in the U.S. will help speed up the vaccine rollout across the country, especially since the J&J shot only requires one dose as opposed to Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech's two-shot vaccines.

Updated 9 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios