George Conway. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

MSNBC raised eyebrows just before Wednesday's impeachment hearing with a special guest commentator: conservative lawyer George Conway, the husband of counselor to President Trump, Kellyanne Conway.

Why it matters: His association to the president has made him "a liberal sensation by emerging as an unlikely critic of the president," per the New York Times. But despite having previously written a Washington Post op-ed, Conway hadn't appeared on television before Wednesday's MSNBC cameo.

I’m horrified. I’m appalled. ... I don’t think I could have imagined a president, any president, engaging in this sort of conduct.
— Conway on whether he's disappointed other Republicans don't share his views on Trump

What he's saying: "I just don’t get why people can’t see this, and why people are refusing to see this. It’s appalling to me," Conway said of the alleged misconduct at the heart of the impeachment inquiry. "I don’t think I could have imagined a president, any president, engaging in this sort of conduct."

  • Conway praised Bill Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent, Conway after they testified, saying: "These men are talking about duty and honor and country and freedom. Those words mean nothing to Donald Trump. Because all Donald Trump cares about, again, is himself."

Of note: Brian Williams and Nicole Wallace, who hosted MSNBC's coverage of the events, did not ask Conway about his wife, Kellyanne Conway.

Go deeper: The impeachment surprise on Day 1

Go deeper

Axios-Ipsos poll: Federal response has only gotten worse

Data: Axios/Ipsos poll; Note ±3.3% margin of error for the total sample size; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Americans believe the federal government's handling of the pandemic has gotten significantly worse over time, according to the latest installment of the Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

Why it matters: Every other institution measured in Week 29 of our national poll — from state and local governments to people's own employers and area businesses — won positive marks for improving their responses since those panicked early days in March and April.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: The swing states where the pandemic is raging — Pence no longer expected to attend Barrett confirmation vote after COVID exposure.
  2. Health: 13 states set single-day case records last week
  3. Business: Where stimulus is needed most.
  4. Education: The dangerous instability of school re-openings.
  5. States: Nearly two dozen Minnesota COVID cases traced to 3 Trump campaign events
  6. World: Unrest in Italy as restrictions grow across Europe.
  7. Media: Fox News president and several hosts advised to quarantine.
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Republicans and Dems react to Coney Barrett's Supreme Court confirmation

President Trump stands with Judge Amy Coney Barrett after she took the constitutional oath to serve as a Supreme Court justice during a White House ceremony Monday night .Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

President Trump said Judge Amy Coney Barrett's Senate confirmation to the Supreme Court and her subsequent taking of the constitutional oath Monday was a "momentous day," as she she vowed to serve "without any fear or favour."

Of note: As Republicans applauded the action, Democratic leaders warned of consequences to the rush to replace the late liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg with a conservative so close to the election, as progressives led calls to expand the court.

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