Mar 2, 2017

Democrats call on Jeff Sessions to resign

Alex Brandon / AP

Democratic lawmakers are calling on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to resign after reports surfaced that he had meetings with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. during the presidential election. Sessions denied any communication with the Russians during his confirmation hearing.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi: "After lying under oath to Congress about his own communications with the Russians, the Attorney General must resign," she said in a statement released late Wednesday night. "Sessions is not fit to serve as the top law enforcement officer of our country."

Sen. Elizabeth Warren Warren: The situation is "not normal," she wrote on Twitter. "We need a real, bipartisan, transparent Congressional investigation into Russia. And we need Attorney General Jeff Sessions — who should have never been confirmed in the first place — to resign. We need it now."

Rep. Elijah Cummings, a ranking member on the House Oversight Committee: "It is inconceivable that even after Michael Flynn was fired for concealing his conversations with the Russians that Attorney General Sessions would keep his own conversations secret for several more weeks... Sessions should resign immediately."

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Facebook to block ads from state-controlled media entities in the U.S.

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Facebook said Thursday it will begin blocking state-controlled media outlets from buying advertising in the U.S. this summer. It's also rolling out a new set of labels to provide users with transparency around ads and posts from state-controlled outlets. Outlets that feel wrongly labeled can appeal the process.

Why it matters: Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook's head of security policy, says the company hasn't seen many examples yet of foreign governments using advertising to promote manipulative content to U.S. users, but that the platform is taking this action out of an abundance of caution ahead of the 2020 election.

Virginia governor announces removal of Richmond's Robert E. Lee statue

Photo: Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced on Thursday that the state will remove the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from Richmond's historic Monument Avenue.

Why it matters: It's a watershed moment for Virginia, which has been at the center of a years-long national debate about whether Confederate monuments should be displayed publicly. That discussion reached a boiling point when protests about a statue of Lee in Charlottesville turned violent in 2017.

RNC expands convention search across the Sun Belt

Donald Trump, Mike Pence and their families on the last night of the Republican National Convention in Ohio in 2016. Photo: David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images.

The Republican National Committee is planning site visits over the next 10 days to more than a half-dozen cities — across the South and into Texas and Arizona — as it scrambles for a new convention host, people familiar with the internal discussions tell Axios.

Driving the news: The RNC's executive committee voted Wednesday night to allow most of the convention to move — with only a smaller, official portion remaining in Charlotte — after North Carolina's governor said the coronavirus pandemic would mean a scaled-back event with social distancing and face coverings.