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Evan Vucci / AP

The junior Senator from Connecticut on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Chris Murphy, said Tuesday at the Center for American Progress Ideas Conference that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson "fundamentally misunderstands the threats presented" to the U.S.:

I think Tillerson is in the State Department to undermine it. I know it because he is going through a reorganization with the end goal decided, with 2,300 job cuts.

For example, the Ukraine crisis: "You cannot confront that with military power" — it needs economic stabilization, energy security, and tools for becoming independent, Murphy said. "Yet this administration tends to see Ukraine as a military problem…and in the end that is a recipe for failure." The Ranking Member on the House Intel Committee, Adam Schiff, added "the enormous cut in the State Department budget" is "terribly wrong headed."

Schiff said "It's pretty clear he views foreign policy through a military lens," and that's not just based on the way he's budgeted and aimed to boost military spending and cut foreign aid, it's also about the "way he's filled his cabinet up with ex-military."

Go deeper

“You blew it”: GOP activist turns on corporations over vaccine mandates

The chairman of the American Conservative Union said on "Axios on HBO" he accepts "Joe Biden is my president, and I want him to succeed," but predicted Republicans retake the House and Senate in 2022 — with greater than 50% odds Donald Trump runs in 2024.

The big picture: In a joint interview with his wife, Mercedes, Matt Schlapp also refused to share their vaccination status. And he told corporate America "you blew it" by embracing vaccine mandates and liberal social stances that have alienated GOP voters and politicians.

40 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Pelosi expects “billionaire’s tax” to pay for Biden social spending

Photo: Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Sunday she expects the chamber to pass the bipartisan infrastructure plan by week’s end, and alternatives to corporate tax hikes and a “billionaires tax” will be used to finance President Biden’s promised expansion to the social safety net.

Why it matters: Pelosi’s comments come as House and Senate leaders try to wrap up a deal. What will get cut — and how the remainder will be paid — are linchpins to a final agreement.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
41 mins ago - Axios on HBO

FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried mystified by value of NFTs

Crypto exchange FTX, valued last week at $25 billion, recently launched an NFT marketplace by selling an image of the word "Test" for $270,000.

  • FTX founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried tells "Axios on HBO" that he doesn't quite understand the appeal, but adds that he doesn't personally appreciate many visual arts.

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