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Marc Short, the chief of staff to Vice President Pence, told CNN on Thursday that he believes the NBA boycott is "absurd and silly," adding "if they want to protest, I don't think we care."

The backdrop: The NBA postponed its scheduled playoff games on Wednesday after players, led by the Milwaukee Bucks, refused to take the floor to protest the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin. That incident has again sparked protests nationwide for racial justice.

  • Players in other professional leagues soon followed, with games postponed in the WNBA, MLB and MLS.

What he's saying: "I don't know that you're going to see the administration weigh in one way or the other. In my mind, it's absurd and silly," Short said.

  • "I think at this point, if they want to say we're not going to play more games, I don't think that's a position that you're going to see us speak out on one way or another."
  • Short attempted to shift the focus, criticizing the league for not calling out "China's continued abuse."

The big picture: White House adviser Jared Kushner similarly dismissed the NBA boycott, saying that players are "very fortunate that they have the financial position where they're able to take a night off from work without having to have the consequences."

Go deeper

Oct 25, 2020 - Health

Ex-FDA chief: Pence campaigning after COVID exposure puts others at risk

Former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb said "the short answer is yes" when asked whether Vice President Mike Pence is putting others at risk by continuing to campaign after several aides tested positive for COVID-19, stressing that the White House needs to be "very explicit about the risks that they're taking."

Why it matters: The New York Times reports that at least five members of Pence's inner circle, including his chief of staff Marc Short and outside adviser Marty Obst, have tested positive for the virus. Pence tested negative on Sunday morning, according to the VP's office, and he'll continue to travel for the final stretch of the 2020 campaign.

Cuomo scandal snares Dems on #MeToo

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Ray Tamarra/Getty Images   

The searing sexual harassment allegations made against Gov. Andrew Cuomo are trouble for Democrats far beyond Albany and New York.

Why it matters: They hammered Donald Trump after the "Access Hollywood" tape. Pilloried Brett Kavanaugh over Christine Blasey Ford. Defended President Biden when he was accused of inappropriate touching. Now, Democrats have to show whether they walk the "#MeToo" talk.

CPAC Republicans choose conservatism over constituents

Rep. Matt Gaetz. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg via Getty Images

CPAC proved such a draw, conservative Republicans chose the conference over their constituents.

Why it matters: More than a dozen House Republicans voted by proxy on the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill in Washington so they could speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference, known as CPAC. And Sen. Ted Cruz skipped an Air Force One flight as President Biden flew to Cruz's hometown of Houston to survey storm damage.