Axios Nov 16
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Franken accuser: "Not my call" whether he should step down

Leeann Tweeden. Screengrab via MSNBC

Leeann Tweeden on whether Sen. Al Franken should resign:

"People make mistakes. I'm not calling for him to step down, that's not my place to say that. If there are other people that come out and say he's done this, I mean I don't know. If I'm the only one that's come out and said that Senator Franken's done something to me — but if there are other women who have come out, you know, I've gotten a phone call from a woman, I've only gotten a message that said something similar has happened to her and I haven't returned it yet, so that's to be determined but I don't know, that's not my call."

Mike Allen 14 hours ago
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A huge clue about Mueller's endgame

Robert Mueller testifies before Congress in 2013. Photo: Saul Loeb / AFP / Getty Images

Axios has learned that special counsel Robert Mueller has focused on events since the election — not during the campaign — in his conversations with President Trump's lawyers. The top two topics that Mueller has expressed interest in so far: the firings of FBI director James Comey and national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Why it matters: That suggests a focus on obstruction of justice while in office, rather than collusion with Russia during the campaign. But both sagas are interwoven with Russia: Trump himself has linked Comey's firing to Russia, and Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about conversations with the Russian ambassador during the transition.

Amy Harder 16 hours ago
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Column / Harder Line

The swamp’s tug-o-war over America’s ethanol mandate

American eagle with corn in its claws
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser / Axios

A biofuels standard Congress passed more than a decade ago in the name of rural development, energy security and climate change has devolved into an arcane fight over market share that has nothing to do with those initial three goals.

Why it matters: The law — called the renewable fuel standard that requires refineries to blend biofuels into gasoline — is a textbook example of how regulations create winners, losers and unintended consequences.