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White House chief of staff Mark Meadows dismissed FBI Director Chris Wray's testimony that the U.S. has never historically seen evidence of widespread voter fraud, including by mail, during an appearance on "CBS This Morning" on Friday.

Why it matters: Meadows' statement highlights the Trump administration's strategy to sow doubt in November's election results by challenging the legitimacy of mail-in ballots, which are expected to skew heavily in Democrats' favor.

What he's saying: "With all due respect to Director Wray, he has a hard time finding emails in his own FBI," Meadows said.

  • "This is a very different case. The rules are being changed, and so what I'm suggesting is perhaps [Wray] ... in North Carolina and other places where multiple ballots, duplicate ballots, are being sent out, perhaps he needs to get involved on the ground and then he would change his testimony on Capitol Hill."

The big picture: President Trump has repeatedly baselessly claimed that increased mail-in voting during the coronavirus pandemic will lead to widespread voter fraud, while providing no evidence to support his assertions. He declined this week to commit to a peaceful transition of power over the issue.

  • Wray did tell the Senate Homeland Security Committee on Thursday that the FBI had seen local election fraud "from time to time" and that the agency takes election threats seriously, which he said includes potential threats through mailed ballots.

Go deeper

Dec 15, 2020 - World

Putin congratulates Biden on U.S. election win

Russia's President Vladimir Putin during an teleconference at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence in Moscow. Photo: Alexei Nikolsky/Russian Presidential Press and Information Office/TASS via Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin has sent a message of congratulations to President-elect Joe Biden, the Kremlin announced Tuesday.

Why it matters: Putin was one of the few world leaders to refrain from congratulating Biden for his election win. But after the Electoral College affirmed his election victory, the Kremlin released a statement saying Putin looked forward to having "interaction and contact with" Biden, per Russia's TASS news agency.

59 mins ago - World

Putin foe Navalny to be detained for 30 days after returning to Moscow

Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny. Photo: Oleg Nikishin/Epsilon/Getty Images

Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny has been ordered to remain in pre-trial detention for 30 days, following his arrest upon returning to Russia on Sunday for the first time since a failed assassination attempt last year.

Why it matters: The detention of Navalny, an anti-corruption activist and the most prominent domestic critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has already set off a chorus of condemnations from leaders in Europe and the U.S.

Biden picks Warren allies to lead SEC, CFPB

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden has selected FTC commissioner Rohit Chopra to be the next director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and Obama-era Wall Street regulator Gary Gensler to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Why it matters: Both picks are progressive allies of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and viewed as likely to take aggressive steps to regulate big business.