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Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. Photo: Steve Pope/Getty Images

Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who joined the growing field of White House hopefuls last week, backs the "concept" of the Green New Deal, a Senate aide tells Axios.

Why it matters: It shows momentum among mainstream Democrats for the sweeping climate, energy and economic proposal championed by progressive activists and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

What they're saying:

  • "Senator Gillibrand supports the Green New Deal concept and has been working for years on policies to aggressively combat climate change, protect our environment and create a green economy in communities that have often been left behind," spokesperson Whitney Brennan tells Axios.

Between the lines: While a growing list of prominent White House hopefuls are offering supportive GND comments, some of their remarks leave wiggle room.

  • That makes sense because right now the GND is an aggressive but broadly worded set of concepts.
  • A template Ocasio-Cortez has circulated includes a rapid transition to 100% renewable electricity and job guarantees for people working in the low-carbon transition.
  • ICYMI: Beto O'Rourke recently said he's "supportive of the concept," while Sen. Elizabeth Warren backs the "idea" of the GND.

The latest: A spokesperson for Sen. Kamala Harris, who joined the race over the weekend, told HuffPost's Alexander Kaufman that Harris "supports the goals" of the GND and is eager to see what legislation emerges.

  • Harris' Senate office and fledgling campaign have not yet provided comment to Axios.

Where it stands: Here's the rest of Brennan's statement to Axios...

"Throughout her time on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, [Gillibrand] has supported legislation to keep fossil fuels in the ground and end corporate subsidies for the oil and gas industry, promote the development of renewable energy and green jobs, make our communities more resilient, and protect clean air and clean water as a right for all Americans."

My thought bubble: That line about keeping fossil fuels "in the ground" caught my eye.

  • It echoes an aggressive wing of the environmental movement that directly opposes upstream production — not just policies to lower demand and speed the transition to alternatives.

Go deeper

Scoop: Gina Haspel threatened to resign over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy

CIA Director Gina Haspel. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

CIA Director Gina Haspel threatened to resign in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelation stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency. Only a series of coincidences — and last minute interventions from Vice President Mike Pence and White House counsel Pat Cipollone — stopped it.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution — Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan — Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.

John Weaver, Lincoln Project co-founder, acknowledges “inappropriate” messages

John Weaver aboard John McCain's campaign plane in February 2000. Photo: Robert Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images)

John Weaver, a veteran Republican operative who co-founded the Lincoln Project, declared in a statement to Axios on Friday that he sent “inappropriate,” sexually charged messages to multiple men.

  • “To the men I made uncomfortable through my messages that I viewed as consensual mutual conversations at the time: I am truly sorry. They were inappropriate and it was because of my failings that this discomfort was brought on you,” Weaver said.
  • “The truth is that I'm gay,” he added. “And that I have a wife and two kids who I love. My inability to reconcile those two truths has led to this agonizing place.”