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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.

Restaurant software meets the pandemic moment

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Food delivery companies have predictably done well during the pandemic. But restaurant software providers are also having a moment as eateries race to handle the avalanche of online orders resulting from severe in-person dining restrictions.

Driving the news: Olo filed last week for an IPO and Toast is rumored to be preparing to do the same very soon.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
1 hour ago - Technology

How the automation economy can turn human workers into robots

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

More than outright destroying jobs, automation is changing employment in ways that will weigh on workers.

The big picture: Right now, we should be less worried about robots taking human jobs than people in low-skilled positions being forced to work like robots.