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In an interview with Axios' Mike Allen on Thursday, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said Russian election meddling on Facebook platform "shouldn't have happened," Facebook would have run a political ad that Twitter took down this week, and condemned the behavior of "everyone" around Harvey Weinstein.

Be smart, from Axios' Sara Fischer: Facebook is willing to hand over ads and ad targeting. Facebook says it's not a media company. It won't discuss Russia/Trump. It won't change its ideals.

Quotes from Sandberg:

On the 2016 election:

  • "Things happened on our platform that shouldn't have happened" in the lead up to the 2016 presidential election.
  • "We know we have a responsibility to prevent everything we can from this happening on our platforms... and so we told Congress and the Intelligence committees that when they are ready to release the ads, we are ready to help them."
  • Sandberg said Facebook will do everything it can to help the government in their Russia probe, and they plan to turn over more information to Congress. "We'll do everything we can to defeat them."
  • The Russian-financed ads and fake news on Facebook is a completely "new threat" that we need to address and accept responsibility for.
  • Sandberg said that if the Russian-linked ads were posted by "real people" and not fake accounts, Facebook would have let their content remain on the site. "When you allow free expression, you allow free expression."
  • Facebook owes the American people an apology — "Not just an apology, but determination" for our role in enabling Russian interference during the election."

On Facebook itself:

  • Sandberg says Facebook would have ran the Marsha Blackburn ad taken down by Twitter: "When you cut off speech for one person, you cut off speech for other people."
  • Sandberg says Facebook isn't a media company: "at our heart we're a tech company... we don't hire journalists."

On Harvey Weinstein:

  • "The Harvey Weinstein thing is abysmal. And it's not just his behavior, it's the behavior of everyone around him."
  • "What he is going through is what every person should be afraid of so that they don't do it."
  • "The world is still run by men. I'm not sure it's going that well."
Go deeper:

The Russia ads:

The big picture:

Europe:

  • Sara Fischer and David McCabe: U.K. leapfrogs U.S. on regulating bad content — British lawmakers have even floated treating tech companies, which aren't held liable for content their users post, as media companies, which are liable.

Subscribe to Mike's Axios AM newsletter

Go deeper

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The Delta variant is keeping more companies cautious about how to invest the mountains of cash they have at their disposal. That hesitancy has led, in part, to corporate spending on stock buybacks outpacing capital expenditures this year. 

Why it matters: Companies hoarded cash and raised prices over the past year — leaving them with a lot of money and decisions about what to do with it.

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Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Democrats are at a pivotal moment in their quest to expand health care coverage, slash the cost of prescription drugs and create a social structure that prioritizes people's health.

Driving the news: Democrats have a clear list of health care priorities they'll be fighting for this week. Among them is a measure to expand Medicare to cover dental, vision and hearing benefits.

China's crypto throwdown

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

China's latest move to ban cryptocurrency shows how tough it will be for the technology to deliver on its backers' vision of disruptive, decentralized change.

The big picture: Control of the currency is a foundation of sovereignty, and governments don't plan on losing that control even as money inevitably turns digital.