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In an interview with Jonathan Swan for "Axios on HBO," Sen. Lindsey Graham criticized President Trump for calling on the Chinese to investigate Joe Biden — but the South Carolina Republican declined to call it an impeachable action.

"As to asking China to look into Biden, that was stupid. Nobody believes that China would be fair to Biden, Trump, me or you, or anybody. Bad idea. That didn't last very long. I think that's a frustrated Trump who feels like there's two different games, that people in [the media] are never gonna really sit down and talk to Hunter Biden unless it's a softball interview."

The big picture: Graham was responding to a question about Republican Sen. Mitt Romney, who called Trump's actions on Ukraine and China "wrong and appalling."

  • Graham's response: "Well if you think the letter is impeachable, I mean the transcript, just say so. If you don't like it, that's fine. But did the president commit a crime on the phone call?"

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 5 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: Biden readies massive shifts in policy for his first days in office.
  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.
  6. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.
Dave Lawler, author of World
6 hours ago - World

Alexey Navalny detained after landing back in Moscow

Navalny and his wife shortly before he was detained. Photo: Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP via Getty

Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny was detained upon his return to Moscow on Sunday, which came five months after he was poisoned with the nerve agent Novichok. He returned despite being warned that he would be arrested.

The latest: Navalny was stopped at a customs checkpoint and led away alone by officers. He appeared to hug his wife goodbye, and his spokesman reports that his lawyer was not allowed to accompany him.

Mike Allen, author of AM
8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden's "overwhelming force" doctrine

President-elect Biden arrives to introduce his science team in Wilmington yesterday. Photo: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

President-elect Biden has ordered up a shock-and-awe campaign for his first days in office to signal, as dramatically as possible, the radical shift coming to America and global affairs, his advisers tell us. 

The plan, Part 1 ... Biden, as detailed in a "First Ten Days" memo from incoming chief of staff Ron Klain, plans to unleash executive orders, federal powers and speeches to shift to a stark, national plan for "100 million shots" in three months.