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Top Democratic candidates attacked President Trump early during the second Democratic primary debate on Thursday, targeting him for passing a tax cut that benefitted the wealthy and for attempting to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Why it matters: With 52 mentions of Trump, the second debate saw a markedly different tone than the ones candidates struck at the first debate on Wednesday. The 10 candidates on Wednesday mentioned Trump a total of 35 times, with Sen. Elizabeth Warren — who is polling highest among that group — failing to mention the president a single time.

What they're saying:

  • Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.): "Trump is a pathological liar and a racist and that he lied to the American people during his campaign. He said he was going to stand up for working families. Well, President Trump, you are not standing up for working families when you try to throw 32 million people off their health care."
  • Former Vice President Joe Biden: "Donald Trump thinks Wall Street built America...Look, Donald Trump put us in a horrible situation. We do have enormous income inequality. The one thing I agree on is we can make massive cuts in the $1.6 billion in tax loopholes and I would be going about eliminating Donald Trump's tax cut for the wealthy."
  • Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Cali.): "I hear that question, but where was that question when the Republicans and Donald Trump passed a tax bill that benefits the top 1% and the biggest cover corporations contributing to the debt of America which middle class families will pay for one way or another."

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Giuliani associate Lev Parnas convicted of campaign finance crimes

Lev Parnas, a former associate of then-President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Florida businessman Lev Parnas was convicted Friday on charges of conspiracy to make foreign contributions to political campaigns, according to multiple outlets.

Why it matters: Prosecutors said Parnas, then an associate of former President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, funneled over $150,000 from a Russian businessman into U.S. campaigns as part of an effort to land licenses in the U.S.'s legal cannabis industry.

Supreme Court agrees to hear challenges to Texas abortion law

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear two cases challenging Texas' abortion law, which bans the procedure as soon as six weeks into pregnancy, but left the law in place in the meantime.

Why it matters: The court is moving extraordinarily fast on the Texas cases, compressing into just a few days a process that normally takes months. And that schedule means the court will take up Texas' ban a month before it hears another major abortion case — a challenge to Mississippi's own 2018 ban on abortions after 15 weeks.

Officials warn 5 key tech sectors will determine whether China overtakes U.S.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

U.S. intelligence officials responsible for protecting advanced technologies have narrowed their focus to five key sectors: artificial intelligence, quantum computing, biotechnology, semiconductors and autonomous systems.

Why it matters: China and Russia are employing a variety of legal and illegal methods to undermine and overtake U.S. dominance in these critical industries, officials warned in a new paper. Their success will determine "whether America remains the world’s leading superpower or is eclipsed by strategic competitors."