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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

Why the Fed might want to jolt the markets

Fed chair Jerome Powell at a hearing earlier this month. Photo: Brendan Smialowski-Pool/Getty Images

So far, financial markets are cooperating nicely with the Federal Reserve's efforts to restrain inflation. They're doing the Fed's work for it by creating tighter financial conditions, in a distinctly non-panicky way.

  • But as the central bank's policymakers meet this week, an underlying question they face is whether the adjustment is happening too slowly.
Kate Marino, author of Markets
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

Omicron outbreaks were bad for business in January

Data: New York Federal Reserve Bank; Chart: Axios Visuals

Emerging anecdotal evidence shows just how hard the recent rise in COVID-19 cases hit businesses in early January — but that hasn't hurt some business leaders’ longer-term views of their companies' prospects.

Why it matters: Increasingly, the economic recovery has come in fits and starts that move in tandem with new peaks in cases. Look no further than the thousands of canceled flights and shuttered Broadway theaters in the wake of the Omicron variant's spread over the last few months.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
3 hours ago - Health

The shifting definition of fully vaccinated

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The definition of what it means to be "fully vaccinated" is evolving even as the CDC has remained careful not to change it officially.

Why it matters: CDC officials have been balancing the job of convincing Americans who've already gotten two doses of the importance of boosters with getting many Americans who still need their first doses to get their shots at all.