Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Republican senators on Tuesday largely avoided discussing President Trump's tweet alleging without evidence that a 75-year-old Buffalo protester, who was seriously injured after being shoved by police, is an "ANTIFA provocateur."

Our thought bubble: It's the classic dodging mechanism, which we've grown accustomed to during the Trump presidency. Whenever senators and Trump advisers don't want to weigh in on an inflammatory tweet that puts them in a difficult position, they claim they haven't read it.

Yes, but: Privately, Trump administration and Senate Republican aides acknowledge the absurdity and danger of a tweet such as this, which promotes a conspiracy theory that has real-world consequences for a man who remains hospitalized.

  • However, the fear of crossing Trump and risking being on the receiving end of one of these tweets often keeps senators from saying so publicly.

One notable exception was Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), who called the tweet "a shocking thing to say, and I won’t dignify it with any further comment," per NBC's Frank Thorp.

Worth noting: The White House has previously said Trump's tweets are official statements, but GOP senators seem to be more willing to brush them off.

  • They're less shy about doing so when the president's actions are more tangible, like when many scolded Trump last week for clearing peaceful protesters before a photo op in front of St. John's Episcopal Church near the White House.

What they're saying, via CNN's Manu Raju: Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) said, "It's a serious accusation which should only be made with facts and evidence and I haven't seen any yet."

  • But he added that "most of us up here would rather not be political commentators on the president's tweets."
  • Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), who has faced Trump's ire in recent days, refused to comment: "Why would you want to fan the flames?"
  • Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas): "You know a lot of this stuff just goes over my head."
  • Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.): "I didn't see it, you're telling me about it. I don't read Twitter. I only write on it."
  • Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska): "I'm on my way to a meeting. I’ll see it when I see it."
  • Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.): "I'm not going to give a running commentary on the president’s tweets."

Go deeper

Romney slams Senate GOP's Biden investigation as a "political exercise"

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) on Wednesday criticized his Republican colleagues on the Senate Homeland Security Committee for their probe into Joe Biden and his son's dealings in Ukraine, saying that it has the "earmarks of a political exercise."

Why it matters: Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), who is leading the investigation, told supporters on Monday that "in about a week we’re going to learn a whole lot more of Vice President Biden’s unfitness for office." The committee is investigating Hunter Biden's work for Ukrainian gas company Burisma at a time when Joe Biden was leading the Obama administration's Ukraine policy.

11 mins ago - Axios Twin Cities

Jurors resume deliberations as the nation awaits Chauvin verdict

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Jurors in the Derek Chauvin trial resume deliberations Tuesday morning as the nation waits for a verdict.

The latest: The 12 jurors met behind closed doors for about three hours Monday before breaking for the night at 7pm.

John Frank, author of Denver
11 mins ago - Axios Denver

What national marijuana legalization would mean for Colorado

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Colorado's cannabis industry is enjoying an era of prosperity as national attitudes toward marijuana become more relaxed.

Driving the news: 17 states have legalized recreational marijuana sales and pot enjoys its highest popularity ever with 68% of adults backing legalization, according to a recent Gallup poll.

You’ve caught up. Now what?

Sign up for Mike Allen’s daily Axios AM and PM newsletters to get smarter, faster on the news that matters.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!