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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

Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling

Photo: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Starbucks has dropped plans to require that U.S. workers get the COVID vaccine or submit to weekly testing, the company announced Tuesday in a memo to employees.

Why it matters: The company's decision comes in response to the Supreme Court's ruling last week to block the Biden administration's COVID-19 vaccine-or-test requirement for large employers.

3 hours ago - World

Netanyahu plea talks enter crunch time

Netanyahu (right) meets with his lawyer ahead of a court hearing last February. Photo: Reuven Casto/Pool/AFP via Getty

Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's opposition leader and former prime minister, is negotiating a possible plea deal over the corruption charges against him, but Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit appears to be toughening his terms.

Why it matters: Mandelblit leaves office on Jan. 31. Negotiations could continue beyond that point, but the next attorney general may be less interested in quickly reaching a deal.

4 hours ago - Health

Omicron hits American hospitals disproportionately hard

Expand chart
Data: Our World in Data; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

America is seeing more COVID hospitalizations than other wealthy countries during the Omicron surge, according to Our World in Data.

Why it matters: Vaccines keep the vast majority of COVID cases out of the hospital, but vaccination rates are also lower in the U.S. than these other countries.