Rep. James Clyburn, the top-ranking African American in American politics, told "Axios on HBO" that President Trump is a racist who hired white supremacists, warning America “could very well go the way of Germany in the 1930s.”

Why it matters: Clyburn is a force in Democratic politics widely credited for resurrecting Joe Biden’s campaign with his South Carolina primary endorsement. He warned in great detail of what he sees as troubling parallels between America today and Nazi Germany.

  • Clyburn said he believes Trump is a racist, but he stopped short of calling him a white supremacist.
  • He insisted there are white supremacists in the White House but would not name a specific person.
  • "I used to wonder how could the people of Germany allow Hitler to exist. But with each passing day, I'm beginning to understand how. And that's why I'm trying to sound the alarm."

Clyburn compared Republicans' coalescing around Trump to Nazis supporting Hitler amid his rise to power. He argued that falsehoods in Trump's State of the Union address showcased the issue.

  • "Fully half of those lies, the Republican side of the House stood up and cheered they knew that was not true. But they cheered him on. I really believe that the people of Germany knew Adolf Hitler was lying. And before they knew it, they no longer had a chancellor but a dictator. Anything that's happened before can happen again."
  • Clyburn also name-checked a congressional colleague, stating that South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham is a "poster child" for the shift of the Republican Party.

The bottom line: "There's a big difference between conservatism and the incompetence."

Go deeper

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Photo: Tom Brenner/Getty Images

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has died of metastatic pancreatic cancer at age 87, the Supreme Court announced Friday evening.

Why it matters: Ginsburg had suffered from serious health issues over the past few years. Her death sets up a fight over filling a Supreme Court seat with less than 50 days until the election.

NYT: White House drug price negotiations broke down over $100 "Trump Cards"

President Trump with Mark Meadows, his chief of staff, on Sept. 3 at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Negotiations on a deal between the White House and pharmaceutical industry to lower drug prices broke down last month after Mark Meadows, the president's chief of staff, insisted that drugmakers pay for $100 cash cards to be mailed to seniors before the election, according to the New York Times.

Why it matters: Some of the drug companies feared that in agreeing to the prescription cards — reportedly dubbed "Trump Cards" by some in the pharmaceutical industry — they would boost Trump's political standing weeks ahead of Election Day with voters over 65, a group that is crucial to the president's reelection bid, per the Times.

In photos: Virginians line up for hours on first day of early voting

Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

In some parts of Virginia, people waited in line up to four hours to cast their ballots on the first day of early voting, according to the Washington Post.

The big picture: The COVID-19 pandemic seems to already have an impact on how people cast their votes this election season. As many as 80 million Americans are expected to vote early, by mail or in person, Tom Bonier, CEO of TargetSmart, a Democratic political data firm, told Axios in August.