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Screengrab via Fox News

In a Fox News interview, John Kelly said he thought an investigation was needed into funding from Hillary Clinton's campaign and the DNC for the research behind the Trump/Russia dossier, and Clinton's involvement in the Uranium One deal.

"The American people really do have a right to know what their government does… have a right to know what their government is doing on any given day, and by this same token what private citizens are doing if they break the law," he said.

Russia probe

Kelly said he thought Robert Mueller's Russia investigation "should wrap up soon," and attempted to distance President Trump from any wrongdoing by the three men for whom indictments were announced Monday.

Monuments

Kelly was also asked about the removal of monuments to prominent slaveowners like George Washington and Robert E. Lee. He said it was wrong to apply modern standard to past actions, citing Christopher Columbus as an example.

"Robert E. Lee was an honorable man. He was a man who gave up his country to fight for his state," he said, adding that lessons had to be learned from history, including that "the lack of an ability to compromise led to the Civil War."

Worth noting: The obvious counterpoint here is that slavery led to the Civil War, and Lee's army was fighting to preserve slavery.

Gold Star widow

Kelly condemned the "politicization" of Trump's conversation with the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson, who was killed in Niger. He said he would not apologize to Rep. Fredrica Wilson, despite having mischaracterized statements she made.

Trump's Asia trip
  • Kelly said North Korea is "coming close" to having an ICBM that can successfully strike the U.S. mainland.
  • On China: "They beat us in trade, but that doesn't make them the enemy... they're another world power."

Why it matters: As Peter Baker noted in a recent NY Times piece, Kelly was until recently viewed as a fairly apolitical figure. With comments like these, that's clearly no longer the case.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
35 mins ago - Energy & Environment

Higher education expands its climate push

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

New or expanded climate initiatives are popping up at several universities, a sign of the topic's rising prominence and recognition of the threats and opportunities it creates.

Why it matters: Climate and clean energy initiatives at colleges and universities are nothing new, but it shows expanded an campus focus as the effects of climate change are becoming increasingly apparent, and the world is nowhere near the steep emissions cuts that scientists say are needed to hold future warming in check.

Ina Fried, author of Login
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

The pandemic isn't slowing tech

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Thursday's deluge of Big Tech earnings reports showed one thing pretty clearly: COVID-19 may be bad in all sorts of ways, but it's not slowing down the largest tech companies. If anything, it's helping some companies, like Amazon and Apple.

Yes, but: With the pandemic once again worsening in the U.S. and Europe, it's not clear how long the tech industry's winning streak can last.

Texas early voting surpasses 2016's total turnout

Early voting in Austin earlier this month. Photo: Sergio Flores/Getty Images

Texas' early and mail-in voting totals for the 2020 election have surpassed the state's total voter turnout in 2016, with 9,009,850 ballots already cast compared to 8,969,226 in the last presidential cycle.

Why it matters: The state's 38 Electoral College votes are in play — and could deliver a knockout blow for Joe Biden over President Trump — despite the fact that it hasn't backed a Democrat for president since 1976.