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.

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Updated 14 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 33,880,896 — Total deaths: 1,012,964 — Total recoveries: 23,551,663Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 7,232,823 — Total deaths: 206,887 — Total recoveries: 2,840,688 — Total tests: 103,939,667Map.
  3. Education: School-aged children now make up 10% of all U.S COVID-19 cases.
  4. Health: Moderna says its coronavirus vaccine won't be ready until 2021
  5. Travel: CDC: 3,689 COVID-19 or coronavirus-like cases found on cruise ships in U.S. waters — Airlines begin mass layoffs while clinging to hope for federal aid
  6. Business: Real-time data show economy's rebound slowing but still going.
  7. Sports: Steelers-Titans NFL game delayed after coronavirus outbreak.

CDC: 3,689 COVID-19 or coronavirus-like cases found on cruise ships in U.S.

Cruise Ships docked in April at the port at Marina Long Beach due to a no-sail order in Long Beach, in California. Photo: Apu Gomes/AFP via Getty Images

There have been at least 3,689 COVID-19 or coronavirus-like illness cases on cruise ships in U.S. waters, "in addition to at least 41 reported deaths," the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said late Wednesday.

Driving the news: The CDC released the data from the period of March 1 through Sept. 29 in an emailed statement confirming the extension of a No Sail Order for cruise ships through Oct. 31, as first reported by Axios' Jonathan Swan on Tuesday in his article revealing CDC director Robert Redfield was overruled in a push to extend the order into 2021.

Ina Fried, author of Login
4 hours ago - Technology

Facebook removes Trump ads tying refugees to COVID-19

Photo Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Facebook said Wednesday that it was removing a series of ads from President Trump's campaign that linked American acceptance of refugees with increased coronavirus risk, a connection Facebook says is without merit.

Why it matters: The ads were pulled after they received thousands of impressions and are a sign that the Trump campaign continues to test the limits of social media rules on false information.