Dem has "more questions" after Facebook discloses Russian-bought ads

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

The top Democrat in a congressional investigation of Russia's influence on the election wants more information from Facebook following the social giant's disclosure that thousands of ads focused on divisive issues were likely purchased by a Russian operator between mid-2015 and earlier this year.

"I'd like to get a more comprehensive look than perhaps what we got today," said Mark Warner, the lead Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee. "I think today was a good first step, but I think there's more to come."

Why it matters: Warner and others have raised questions about whether digital ad targeting systems were used to distribute "fake news" meant to tilt the results of the election and if Trump campaign could have aided Russian operatives in such an effort. Today shows the pressure isn't letting up on some of the biggest companies in Silicon Valley to account for their role in last year's tumultuous campaign.

Take note: "My hope is that we would even at some point get Facebook, Twitter and some of the other social media firms in for a public hearing," he said, adding that Twitter would be briefing committee staff in the future.

Bigger picture: Warner also said the there should be greater transparency about who is buying political ads online. The companies, he said, have "got to follow the law, and if the law needs to be changed to meet ... 21st century standards, let's have at it."

What's next

Pelosi slams McConnell trial rules as "deliberately designed to hide the truth"

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) claimed in a statement Tuesday that the rules Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has proposed for President Trump's impeachment trial diverge from the Clinton precedent and show he has "chosen a cover-up" over a fair trial.

Context: McConnell made public an organizing resolution Monday laying out the terms for the trial, which include 24 hours over two days for each side to present their cases. It would block evidence discovered in the House impeachment investigation from being presented without a separate vote, and it would delay a vote on whether to subpoena witnesses and documents until later in the trial.

Setting the scene for Super Bowl LIV

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

After a grueling four months of football, Patrick Mahomes has led the Chiefs out of the darkness and into the Miami sun, where the 49ers football machine awaits them in the Super Bowl.

"The Gunslinger"

Mahomes is 24 years old, arguably the best player in football and he just toppled Tom Brady as the top seller of NFL merchandise. A star has already been born — now he has the biggest stage in sports to showcase his brilliance.

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Exclusive: The Athletic raises $50 million

Adam Hansmann (left) and Alex Mather (right), co-founders of The Athletic. Photo: Steph Gray, courtesy of The Athletic

The Athletic, a subscription-based digital sports media company, has raised $50 million in a Series D funding round, executives tell Axios.

  • With this investment, the company has raised a total of $139.5 million since its launch in 2016 and is valued at roughly $500 million after the new raise, according to sources familiar with the deal.
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