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Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz) delivered an emotional retirement speech on the Senate floor today, and condemned the "flagrant disregard of truth and decency" in politics today, stating, "heaven help us."

Key quote: "We must stop pretending that the degradation of politics in our executive branch are normal, they're not normal... it's reckless, outrageous, and undignified... it's dangerous to our democracy."

More from Flake:

  • "Mr. President, I rise today to say, enough."
  • "We have fooled ourselves long enough that Trump... will return to civility... We know better than that."
  • "When we remain silent... because we might alienate the base... we dishonor our principles and forsake our obligations."
  • "If I am critical it is not because I relish criticizing the president of the U.S. If I have been critical it is because I feel an obligation to do so... the notion that we should say or do nothing in such mercurial behavior is misguided and ahistorical.."
  • "We must never accept...personal attacks, threats against principles, freedoms, and institutions."
  • We cannot continue to "call true things fake and fake things true."
  • "I have children and grandchildren to answer to, and so Mr. President, I will not be complicit or silent."

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on Flake:

  • Flake is "a man of integrity, honor, decency and commitment."
  • "I have seen Jeff Flake stand up for what he believes in knowing full well there will be a political price to pay."

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Go deeper

Dominion sends cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell

Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Dominion Voting Systems on Monday sent a cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell over his spread of misinformation related to the 2020 election.

Why it matters: Trump and several of his allies have pushed false conspiracy theories about the company, leading Dominion to take legal action. It's suing pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell for defamation and $1.3 billion in damages, and a Dominion employee has sued Trump himself, OANN and Newsmax.

Off the Rails

Episode 5: The secret CIA plan

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer, Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 5: Trump vs. Gina — The president becomes increasingly rash and devises a plan to tamper with the nation's intelligence command.

In his final weeks in office, after losing the election to Joe Biden, President Donald Trump embarked on a vengeful exit strategy that included a hasty and ill-thought-out plan to jam up CIA Director Gina Haspel by firing her top deputy and replacing him with a protege of Republican Congressman Devin Nunes.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director defends agency's response to pandemic — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Empire State Building among hundreds to light up in Biden inauguration coronavirus tribute.
  3. Vaccine: Fauci: 100 million doses in 100 days is "absolutely" doable.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode again.
  5. Tech: Kids' screen time sees a big increase.