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Sen. Cory Booker. Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

2020 Democratic candidate Sen. Cory Booker took a dig at Democrats in an interview with HuffPost Thursday, saying his party's opposition to nuclear energy is just as a bad as Republicans who deny climate science.

Why it matters: As reporter Alexander Kaufman notes, the New Jersey senator's statement is one of the sharpest criticisms of anti-nuclear stances in the primary battle, and "grazes a particularly sensitive nerve in the climate policy debate."

"As much as we say the Republicans when it comes to climate change must listen to science, our party has the same obligation to listen to scientists."
— Cory Booker to HuffPost

The big picture: Booker is echoing view among many analysts that decarbonizing power relatively fast would be extraordinarily tough if plants are closing, and that construction of next-wave reactors should be an option.

The intrigue: It highlights a sharp energy policy split between Booker, who is lagging in the polls, and anti-nuclear positions of Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, who are much closer to frontrunner Joe Biden.

Go deeper: Three Mile Island nuclear plant closes on day of mass climate rally

Go deeper

Trump grants flurry of last-minute pardons

Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty

President Trump issued 73 pardons and commuted the sentences of 70 individuals early Wednesday, 11 hours from leaving office.

Why it matters: It's a last-minute gift to some of the president's loyalists and an evident use of executive power with only hours left of his presidency. Axios reported in December that Trump planned to grant pardons to "every person who ever talked to me."

Trump revokes ethics order barring former aides from lobbying

Photo: Spencer Platt via Getty

Shortly after pardoning members of Congress and lobbyists convicted on corruption charges, President Trump revoked an executive order barring former officials from lobbying for five years after leaving his administration.

Why it matters: The order, which was signed eight days after he took office, was an attempt to fulfill his campaign promise to "drain the swamp."

  • But with less than 12 hours left in office, Trump has now removed those limitations on his own aides.

Trump pardons former GOP fundraiser Elliott Broidy

President Trump has pardoned Elliott Broidy, a former top Republican fundraiser who pleaded guilty late last year to conspiring to violate foreign lobbying laws as part of a campaign to sway the administration on behalf of Chinese and Malaysian interests.

Why it matters: Broidy was a deputy finance chair for the Republican National Committee early in Trump’s presidency, and attempted to leverage his influence in the Trump administration on behalf of his clients. The president's decision to pardon Broidy represents one last favor for a prominent political ally.