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Rep. Will Hurd. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Cal

Texas Republican and former CIA officer, Rep. Will Hurd, writes in a New York Times op-ed that President Trump "actively participated in a Russian disinformation campaign" while meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki this week.

Why it matters: Lawmakers are still reeling from Trump's show of solidarity with the Russian president. But Republicans are split — while many in the GOP found Trump's joint-conference with Putin "unexplainable, unacceptable and un-American," according to Axios' Mike Allen and Jonathan Swan, few will do anything about it. But, Republican voters approved of the summit overwhelmingly (79%).

More from Hurd's op-ed:

  • "Over the course of my career as an undercover officer in the C.I.A., I saw Russian intelligence manipulate many people. I never thought I would see the day when an American president would be one of them."
  • "Somehow many Americans have forgotten that Russia is our adversary, not our ally...For more than a decade, Russia has meddled in elections around the world, supported brutal dictators and invaded sovereign nations — all to the detriment of United States interests."
  • "Moreover, the threat of Russian meddling in United States elections is not behind us. ... Make no mistake, Russian disinformation campaigns are working."
  • "Without action, we risk losing further credibility in international negotiations with both our friends and foes on critical trade deals, military alliances and nuclear arms."
"I hope the president shares my conviction that American strength, not weakness, is the best way to preserve a secure world in the face of adversaries like Russia."
— Rep. Will Hurd

Go deeper

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Fauci: COVID vaccine rollout needs to prioritize people of color

Anthony Fauci. Photo: Alex Wong via Getty Images

Infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci highlighted the need to address racial disparities in the COVID-19 vaccination process, per an interview with The New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday.

What he’s saying: "I think that's the one thing we really got to be careful of. We don't want in the beginning ... most of the people who are getting it are otherwise, well, middle-class white people."

The Mischief Makers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Several Republican and Democratic lawmakers are emerging as troublemakers within their parties and political thorns for their leadership.

Why it matters: We're calling this group "The Mischief Makers" — members who threaten to upend party unity — the theme eclipsing Washington at the moment — and potentially jeopardize the Democrats' or Republicans' position heading into the 2022 midterms.

4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Obama speechwriter fears Biden unity drive is one-sided

Cody Keenan (right) is shown heading to Marine One in December 2009. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Obama's former speechwriter says he's "preemptively frustrated" with President Biden's effort to find unity with Republicans.

What they're saying: Cody Keenan told Axios that Biden's messaging team has "struck all the right chords," but at some point "they're gonna have to answer questions like, 'Why didn't you achieve unity?' when there's an entire political party that's already acting to stop it."

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