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John Kerry with Joe Biden in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, December 2019. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Former Secretary of State John Kerry tweeted that any report saying he plans to run for president is "f--king ... false" before deleting the tweet and reposting his strong denial minus the expletive. Twitter users saved screenshots of the original post.

Driving the news: The 2004 Democratic presidential nominee and supporter of 2020 candidate Joe Biden issued the denial after NBC reported he allegedly discussed the move on the phone while talking about the "possibility of Bernie Sanders taking down the Democratic Party — down whole."

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Why it matters: Kerry's comments come on the eve of the Iowa caucuses and as Bernie Sanders overtakes Biden as the 2020 Democratic candidate getting the most attention online.

  • The reported call raises questions "about whether Kerry doubted Biden's candidacy and viewed Sanders as unstoppable," Politico notes.

The allegations: "Sitting in the lobby restaurant of the Renaissance Savery hotel, Kerry was overheard by an NBC News analyst saying 'maybe I'm f--king deluding myself here' and explaining that to run, he'd have to step down from the board of Bank of America and give up his ability to make paid speeches," NBC reports.

  • "Kerry said donors like venture capitalist Doug Hickey would have to 'raise a couple of million,' adding that such donors 'now have the reality of Bernie.'"

What he's saying: "This is a complete and total misinterpretation based on overhearing only one side of a phone conversation," Kerry told NBC News later Sunday.

  • "A friend who watches too much cable called me wondering whether I'd ever jump into the race late in the game if Democrats were choosing an unelectable nominee. I listed all the reasons I could not possibly do that and would not — and will not under any circumstances — do that."

Go deeper: Biden surrogates test electability argument ahead of Iowa clash with Sanders

Go deeper

Updated 12 mins ago - Technology

Mayors see cryptocurrency as a way to address income inequality

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

At the U.S. Conference of Mayors' meeting in D.C. this week, there's buzz around the idea of giving cryptocurrency accounts to low-income people.

Why it matters: Cities have been experimenting with newfangled ways to address income inequality — like guaranteed income programs — and the latest wave of trials could involve paying benefits or dividends in bitcoin, stablecoin or other digital currencies.

Updated 13 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: FDA OKs antiviral drug remdesivir for non-hospitalized COVID patients — Walensky: CDC language "pivoting" on "fully vaccinated" — Fauci: "Confident" Omicron cases will peak in February
  2. Vaccines: Team USA 100% vaccinated against COVID ahead of Beijing Olympics — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America — Annual COVID vaccine preferable to boosters, says Pfizer CEO.
  3. Politics: Arizona governor sues Biden administration over COVID funds tied to mandates — Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" on anti-mask school policies.
  4. World: Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults — Beijing officials urge COVID-19 "emergency mode" before Winter Olympics.
  5. Variant tracker
Updated 2 hours ago - Sports

Experts predict major boom for North American sports stadiums

Rendering of the $375 million Moody Center on the UT-Austin campus. Photo courtesy of Moody Center

Stadium and arena construction in North America will total a relatively tame $5.8 billion this year, a 12% decrease from 2021.

The big picture: What the industry lacks in construction it expects to make up for in design, with experts predicting a sports venue boom over the next half-decade, SBJ reports.