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2020 Democratic candidate Sen. Cory Booker claimed on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday that President Trump is "worse than a racist" and that his rhetoric weaponizes race just as Gov. George Wallace — a staunch segregationist — did in his presidential campaigns.

"The reality is this is a guy who is worse than a racist. He's actually using racist tropes and racial language for political gain. He's trying to use this as a weapon to divide our nation against itself and this is somebody who is very similar to George Wallace, to racists who uses the exact same language."

The big picture: CNN's Dana Bash notes that unlike other 2020 candidates, Booker has criticized Trump's comments as racist, but has hesitated to specifically label the president himself a racist. Booker shot back and said he would not stop short of using the word racist to describe Trump.

  • "We have a demagogue, fear-mongering person who is using race to divide. This is a referendum, not on him, it's actually a referendum on the heart and soul of our country."

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
5 mins ago - Economy & Business

Our make-believe economy

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The Federal Reserve and global central banks are remaking the world's economy in an effort to save it, but have created something of a monster.

Why it matters: The Fed-driven economy relies on the creation of trillions of dollars — literally out of thin air — that are used to purchase bonds and push money into a pandemic-ravaged economy that has long been dependent on free cash and is only growing more addicted.

New hope for "smart cities"

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

It's time to polish our gleaming vision of urban environments where internet technology makes everything from finding a parking space to measuring air quality a snap.

Why it matters: The Biden administration's Cabinet appointees are likely to be champions of bold futurism in urban planning — which could mean that smart infrastructure projects, like broadband deployment and digital city services, get fresh funding and momentum.

4 hours ago - World

Hong Kong pro-democracy media tycoon Jimmy Lai detained on fraud charge

An activist holds a placard highlighting China's Tiananmen Square massacre as pro-democracy media tycoon Jimmy Lai arrives at West Kowloon Magistrates' Court in Hong Kong in November. Photo: Isaac Wong/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai is being detained until an April court hearing after the pro-democracy supporter was charged Thursday with fraud, per his Apple Daily news outlet.

Why it matters: The 72-year-old's arrest and denial of bail is another blow for the pro-democracy movement in the former British colony amid concerns about a fresh crackdown on activists.