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Rudy Giuliani speaks at an election hearing in Lansing, Mich., on Dec. 2. Photo: Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

Rudy Giuliani called Ken Cuccinelli, second in command at the Department of Homeland Security, on Thursday night and asked him whether DHS could seize voting machines, a source familiar with the call confirmed to Axios.

The state of play: Cuccinelli responded that DHS does not have that authority, the source said.

Why it matters: The call, first reported by the New York Times' Maggie Haberman, is another manifestation of President Trump's increasingly extreme efforts to contest an election that was called for President-elect Joe Biden six weeks ago.

On Friday night, as first reported by The New York Times, Trump discussed commandeering voting machines and appointing conspiracy-minded election lawyer Sidney Powell as special counsel to inspect the machines.

  • Axios reported Saturday afternoon that senior Trump administration officials are increasingly alarmed at what Trump might do to unleash the power of government to try to overturn the clear result of the election.

The backstory: Giuliani is part of a dwindling remnant of Trump loyalists who is trying to act on his continued protests about the election. On Saturday, he tweeted again that Biden "didn't win."

  • Giuliani, who was briefly hospitalized for COVID-19 earlier this month, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Go deeper

The week the Trump show ended

Data: NewsWhip; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Donald Trump was eclipsed in media attention last week by President Biden for the first time since Trump took office, according to viewership data on the internet, on social media and on cable news.

Why it matters: After Trump crowded out nearly every other news figure and topic for five years, momentum of the new administration took hold last week and the former president retreated, partly by choice and partly by being forced off the big platforms.

Thousands without power as "hazardous" winter storm lashes East Coast

Winter view from Charlotte as winter storm Izzy creates dangerous conditions in Charlotte, N.C. on Jan. 16. Photo: Peter Zay/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A major winter storm was lashing much of the East Coast on Sunday, causing widespread power outages and disrupting travel over the holiday weekend.

The big picture: Heavy snow and ice accumulations were "likely to produce hazardous travel," downed trees and more outages from the Mid-South to the Northeast, per the National Weather Service. Some parts of the U.S. can expect to see up to a foot of snow through Monday.

Updated 6 hours ago - Science

Volcanic eruption in Tonga caused "significant" damage

This satellite image of the eruption on Jan. 15 taken by Himawari-8, a Japanese weather satellite operated by Japan Meteorological Agency and released by National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT). Photo: NICT via AP

Significant damage has been reported in Tonga following an undersea volcanic eruption on Saturday, which covered the Pacific nation in ash and cut off communication lines.

Driving the news: The eruption triggered tsunami warnings across Tonga's islands and in other regions, including the West Coast of the U.S. and New Zealand, which were later lifted.