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Lazaro Gamio / Axios

Breitbart News, the right-wing nationalist and flamboyantly pro-Trump website, is rapidly growing its online reach and engagement. By some measures, it's overtaken some of the most established news and consumer brands.

Why this matters: Breitbart's traffic growth comes as it expands its political influence in Washington. Former chairman Steve Bannon is Trump's chief strategist and 2 former Breitbart journalists have gone to work at the White House; former national security editor Sebastian Gorka is a deputy assistant to the president, and former reporter Julia Hahn will be working under Bannon.

By the numbers:

  • Breitbart has moved ahead of The Washington Post, Fox News, Walmart and Yelp on the Alexa top sites ranking that combines measures of visitors and pageviews.
  • According to comScore, Breitbart's number of unique visitors has grown 62% in the past three years. The site's reach, or the amount of unique visitors it attracts, is now larger than established political websites, like The Hill and Politico.
  • Visitors spent 3.7 minutes on the site per visit in December, compared with 3.3 average minutes per day spent on The Huffington Post and The New York Times.
  • Breitbart was one of the most-engaged news websites on Facebook in 2016, according to Newswhip, surpassing CBS News, Yahoo! and NPR. (Engagement is based off of likes, comments, shares and reactions on Facebook.)

Go deeper

Democrat Mark Kelly sworn in to U.S. Senate

Photo: Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images

Astronaut Mark Kelly (D) was sworn in to the U.S. Senate on Wednesday after defeating incumbent Sen. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) last month for the seat once held by the late Sen. John McCain.

Why it matters: Kelly's swearing-in by Vice President Mike Pence narrows the Republican majority and moves the Senate balance to 52-48.

Senate Armed Services chair dismisses Trump threat to veto defense bill

Sen. Jim Inhofe. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told reporters Wednesday that he plans to move ahead with a crucial defense-spending bill without provisions that would eliminate tech industry protections, defying a veto threat from President Trump.

Why it matters: Inhofe's public rebuke signals that the Senate could have enough Republican backing to override a potential veto from Trump, who has demanded that the $740 billion National Defense Authorization Act repeal Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

Scoop: Uber in talks to sell air taxi business to Joby

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Uber is in advanced talks to sell its Uber Elevate unit to Joby Aviation, Axios has learned from multiple sources. A deal could be announced later this month.

Between the lines: Uber Elevate was formed to develop a network of self-driving air taxis, but to date has been most notable for its annual conference devoted to the nascent industry.

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