House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Pro-Trump online personalities Diamond and Silk repeatedly clashed with lawmakers at a Thursday hearing and claimed that they had not received money from the Trump campaign, despite campaign finance records that show otherwise.

The big picture: The hearing became a tug-of-war between Democrats concerned about Russian election interference and Republicans who wanted to debate ideologically driven censorship on Facebook.

What they're saying:

  • Lynnette Hardaway, or Diamond, said Facebook "slowly" diminished the reach of the pair's page, "thus silencing our conservative voices." Facebook, however, has said that the pair was mistakenly sent an email labeling their content as "unsafe" and that the company has tried to work with them.
  • The pair pushed back on Democrat Rep. Hank Johnson when he questioned whether they'd made "a ton of money" on Facebook — and if they'd make more as a result of the hearing. "I hope everybody on Facebook can follow us," said Rochelle Richardson, or Silk.
  • It got more contentious from there. “We are African American women," said Hardaway. "If illegal aliens can come over here and build businesses, why can’t we? And we were born on this soil."

Hardaway said multiple times that the pair had not been paid by the Trump campaign. That's contradicted by a Federal Election Commission report filed by the Trump campaign, which says the pair received more than $1,200 for "field consulting."

  • When pressed on the discrepancy, Richardson claimed the money was a refund for some travel.

Republicans defended the premise of the hearing, which Democrats derided. "This is a stupid and ridiculous hearing," said Rep. Ted Lieu.

Go deeper

Supreme Court says Manhattan prosecutors can obtain Trump's financial records

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Manhattan prosecutors can obtain President Trump's financial records — and punted House Democrats' efforts to access similar records to a lower court.

Why it matters: The Manhattan ruling, a 7-2 decision, is a stinging loss for Trump, who has fought relentlessly to keep these records secret.

Chelsea Clinton is considering forming a venture capital firm

Photo Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Jemal Countess/Getty Images

Chelsea Clinton is in the very early stages of forming a venture capital firm, Axios has learned from multiple sources.

What we’re hearing: The working name is Metrodora Ventures, after the author of the first medical text known to have been written by a woman (around 2,000 years ago in Greece).

TikTok caught in a U.S.-China vise

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

TikTok, the short-video platform popular among teens for sharing funny moments and dance moves, is getting pulled into the deadly serious geopolitical conflict between China and the U.S.

The big picture: More than any other Chinese-owned app, TikTok has found success outside of its homeland. But as the U.S. sounds security alarms and China turns the legal screws on Hong Kong, the company is fighting to prove that it's not beholden to Beijing — and to forestall a threatened ban by the Trump administration.