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Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden defended his son's actions in Ukraine in a wide-ranging interview with CBS' "60 Minutes, broadcast Sunday, in which his wife, Jill Biden also appeared.

Other highlights

On President Trump:

NORAH O'DONNELL: "President Trump says Russian interference is a hoax."
BIDEN: "He's an idiot, in terms of sayin' that. Everybody knows this. Everybody knows it. Nobody doubts it."
O'DONNELL: "President Trump has said publicly, 'Joe Biden and his son are stone cold corrupt.' ... Anything you want to say to him?"
BIDEN: "Yeah. Mr. President, release your tax returns. Let's see how straight you are, OK old buddy? I put out 21 years of mine. So show us your tax returns. ... What are you hidin'? You want to deal with corruption? Start to act like it. Release your tax returns or shut up."

On whether he's the Democratic presidential frontrunner:

BIDEN: "I know I'm the frontrunner. Find me a national poll with a notable — a couple exceptions. But look, this is a marathon."
O'DONNELL: "You can look at the last campaign finance filing. ... You have less than $9 million in the bank. Bernie Sanders has $30, nearly $34 million in the bank. Senator Warren has $26 million. How do you compete against that?"
BIDEN: "I just flat beat them. (laughs) We're on a course to do extremely well. ... I’m not worried about being able to fund this campaign. I really am not, truly."

On why former President Obama hasn't endorsed him:

BIDEN: "I want to earn this on my own."
O'DONNELL: "Did he offer to endorse you?"
BIDEN: "No, we didn't even get there. I asked him not to. He said, "OK." I think it's better — I think he thinks it's better for me. I have no doubt when I'm the nominee he'll be out on the campaign trail for me."

On Facebook removing fake accounts from Russia while permitting Trump ads on Biden:

"Facebook is running right now paid advertising by Trump that everybody knows is a flat lie. You know, I'm glad they brought the Russians down. Why don't you bring down the lies that Trump is telling and everybody knows are lies?"

On whether Trump's family conducted themselves correctly and avoided conflicts of interest:

BIDEN: "If I get elected president, my children are not going to have offices in the White House. My children are not going to sit in on Cabinet meetings. ... It's just simply improper because you should make it clear to the American public that everything you're doing is for them. For them. And the idea that you’re going to have his children his son-in-law, etc., engaged in the day-to-day operation of things they know nothing about."
O'DONNELL: "You don't think that Jared Kushner should be negotiating a Middle East peace solution?"
BIDEN: "No, I don't (laughs). ... What credentials does he bring to that?"

The other side: Trump's campaign issued a statement defending his family when Biden's remarks on them were made public last week.

Go deeper:

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

Go deeper

Scoop: Gina Haspel threatened to resign over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy

CIA Director Gina Haspel. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

CIA Director Gina Haspel threatened to resign in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelation stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency. Only a series of coincidences — and last minute interventions from Vice President Mike Pence and White House counsel Pat Cipollone — stopped it.

Updated 11 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution — Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan — Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.

John Weaver, Lincoln Project co-founder, acknowledges “inappropriate” messages

John Weaver aboard John McCain's campaign plane in February 2000. Photo: Robert Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images)

John Weaver, a veteran Republican operative who co-founded the Lincoln Project, declared in a statement to Axios on Friday that he sent “inappropriate,” sexually charged messages to multiple men.

  • “To the men I made uncomfortable through my messages that I viewed as consensual mutual conversations at the time: I am truly sorry. They were inappropriate and it was because of my failings that this discomfort was brought on you,” Weaver said.
  • “The truth is that I'm gay,” he added. “And that I have a wife and two kids who I love. My inability to reconcile those two truths has led to this agonizing place.”

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