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AP

Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown created a tense moment with a conservative pro-Israel audience when he told them he was concerned about "bigotry and anti-Semitism" at the highest levels of the Trump administration.

Addressing the Zionist Organization of America's event in D.C. on Tuesday, Brown said, "There are a whole lot of members in the Senate, in both parties, that are very concerned about the bigotry and the anti-Semitism in the White House."

It didn't go down well. Brown, whose office did not respond to a request for comment, signaled to the conservative audience that Steve Bannon was the guy he was referring to when he mentioned "anti-Semitism in the White House." "I think we know the history of Breitbart," he said.

A source said there were boos and hisses, and a video shot at the event bears that out, with the crowd cheering every time Brown mentioned Bannon's name and the Ohio Senator admitting he wasn't telling the audience what they wanted to hear.

ZOA's president Mort Klein is a close friend of Bannon's. Arthur Schwartz, an external advisor to ZOA said in a statement: "We were deeply disappointed by Senator Brown's attacks on President Trump, Steve Bannon, Sebastian Gorka and others that serve in this White House. We work closely with Mr. Bannon and Dr. Gorka; they are true friends of the Jewish state of Israel. The same cannot be said of Senator Brown, a supporter of the catastrophic Iran Deal."

Go deeper

Scoop: Gina Haspel threatened to resign over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy

CIA Director Gina Haspel. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

CIA Director Gina Haspel threatened to resign in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelation stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency. Only a series of coincidences — and last minute interventions from Vice President Mike Pence and White House counsel Pat Cipollone — stopped it.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution — Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan — Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.

John Weaver, Lincoln Project co-founder, acknowledges “inappropriate” messages

John Weaver aboard John McCain's campaign plane in February 2000. Photo: Robert Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images)

John Weaver, a veteran Republican operative who co-founded the Lincoln Project, declared in a statement to Axios on Friday that he sent “inappropriate,” sexually charged messages to multiple men.

  • “To the men I made uncomfortable through my messages that I viewed as consensual mutual conversations at the time: I am truly sorry. They were inappropriate and it was because of my failings that this discomfort was brought on you,” Weaver said.
  • “The truth is that I'm gay,” he added. “And that I have a wife and two kids who I love. My inability to reconcile those two truths has led to this agonizing place.”