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Photo: Oliver Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows hosted his daughter's 70-person indoor wedding in Atlanta in May, despite major coronavirus lockdowns and local ordinances blocking large gatherings, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution first reported on Thursday.

Why it matters: Spring saw waves of Americans canceling major life events, including weddings and graduations. Meadows circumventing lockdown rules is sure to strike a chord with those who obeyed authorities and missed out.

  • Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) was in attendance.
  • No one was wearing masks.
  • An order by Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) at the time blocked gatherings of more than 10 people.

The big picture: The news also comes amid the White House's own coronavirus outbreak, which has included positive tests for President Trump and first lady Melania Trump.

  • Accountability watchdogs have turned to Meadows for answers. Under his leadership of staff, the virus has spread significantly throughout Trump's circle, reaching over a dozen people and hindering Trump's re-election activities.

Go deeper

Dec 15, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Scoop: McConnell alerted White House before congratulating Biden

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell walks with White House chief of staff Mark Meadows. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called White House chief of staff Mark Meadows Tuesday morning to say he planned on congratulating Joe Biden on winning the Electoral College and would officially address him as president-elect on the Senate floor, two sources familiar with the call tell Axios.

Why it matters: The Senate leader had resisted public demands to acknowledge Biden's victory despite the president's losing court battles, holding off until electors had formally given Biden the 270 votes he needed to secure his win on Monday. The delay underscored that McConnell still needs President Trump to back must-pass legislation before leaving office, one of the sources said.

Obama says Powell exemplified what America "can and should be"

Then-President Obama speaks alongside former Secretary of State Colin Powell (left) during a meeting in the Oval Office in 2010. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Former President Obama called Colin Powell an "exemplary soldier and an exemplary patriot" in a statement honoring the former general following his death from COVID complications on Monday.

Why it matters: Powell, the first Black U.S. secretary of state, was known as a Republican but played a critical role in helping Obama get elected in 2008.

Justice Department asks Supreme Court to block Texas abortion ban

Abortion rights activists rally at the Texas State Capitol on Sept. 11 in Austin, Texas. Photo: Jordan Vonderhaar/Getty Images

The Justice Department on Monday asked the Supreme Court to temporarily block Texas' near-total ban on abortions while federal courts consider its constitutionality.

The big picture: The court last month allowed the ban to take effect, rejecting an emergency application by abortion-rights groups. The law bars the procedure after cardiac activity is detected, as early as six weeks into pregnancy.