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Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf claimed on Sunday that he did not know that a prerecorded naturalization ceremony with President Trump would be aired during the Republican National Convention.

Why it matters: The ceremony has prompted House Democrats to demand an investigation into Wolf for potentially violating the Hatch Act, which restricts federal employees from engaging in partisan political activity.

The big picture: The naturalization ceremony was one of a number of episodes during the RNC that sparked allegations of ethics violations and misuse of government property for political purposes, including President Trump's acceptance speech on the White House South Lawn.

What he's saying: "No," Wolf responded when asked by ABC's Jonathan Karl if he knew the footage would be played at the RNC. "What I knew is again, participating in a naturalization ceremony. We had a number of USCIS employees there as they do every naturalization ceremony making sure that ceremony goes off without a hitch."

  • "Naturalization ceremonies are what the department does. We do hundreds, if not thousands, of them every year. I participated in several of them not only with the president but with the vice president. So it's absolutely a legitimate role for the department to do."
  • "It was an official event at the White House. It was uploaded to a public YouTube channel. Any individual organization or political party can pull down that video and do with it as they wish."

Go deeper

Pompeo to give foreign policy speech in Georgia ahead of Senate runoffs

Photo: Saul Loeb/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will deliver a foreign policy speech at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta on Wednesday, just weeks ahead of two runoff races that will determine control of the Senate.

Why it matters: Pompeo, widely seen as a likely 2024 presidential candidate, has frequently been criticized for violating norms restricting the secretary of state from overtly partisan activities.

Scoop: Trump-backed Perdue says he wouldn’t have certified Georgia 2020 results

Perdue at a December 2020 campaign event in Columbus, Ga. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

Georgia gubernatorial candidate David Perdue wouldn’t have signed the certification of the state’s 2020 election results if he had been governor at the time, the former Senate Republican told Axios.

  • “Not with the information that was available at the time and not with the information that has come out now. They had plenty of time to investigate this. And I wouldn’t have signed it until those things had been investigated and that’s all we were asking for," he said.

Why it matters: There has been no evidence widespread fraud took place in Georgia's elections last year and the November results were counted three times, once by hand.

Beijing Olympics: These countries have announced diplomatic boycotts

Photo: Zhang Qiang/VCG via Getty Images

Several countries, including Canada and Australia, have announced they will join the U.S. in a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics to protest human rights abuses committed by China's government.

Driving the news: Leaders have faced pressure from human rights groups and others to boycott the Games, pointing to the ongoing genocide of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in China's Xinjiang region and other abuses.