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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

Women rise to the top at major media companies

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Several women have been tapped to lead some of the country's largest newsrooms over the past year — a promising sign of progress for an industry that's typically been slow to accept change and embrace diversity.

Driving the news: CBS News executive Kimberly Godwin was named president of ABC News on Wednesday. Godwin will be the first Black woman to lead a major broadcast news division when she takes the helm in May.

Americans will likely have to navigate a maze of vaccine "passports"

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

Many private businesses and some states are plowing ahead with methods of verifying that people have been vaccinated, despite conservative resistance to "vaccine passports."

Why it matters: Many businesses view some sort of vaccine verification system as key to getting back to normal. But in the absence of federal leadership, a confusing patchwork approach is likely to pop up.

The future of political advertising is connected TV

Reproduced from Centro; Chart: Axios Visuals

Political advertising has quickly begun to migrate over to connected TV (CTV), or digital and streaming television, according to new data.

Why it matters: "If the current trends of explosive growth in CTV viewership continue, we could see a tipping point where CTV makes up nearly half of political digital ad spend as soon as 2022," says Grace Briscoe, vice president of candidates and causes at Centro, a digital ad placement firm that works with hundreds of campaigns across the country.