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Former Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele announced on Monday that he has joined the Lincoln Project, a group founded by Republicans who oppose President Trump's re-election.

Why it matters: Steele's announcement lands on the first day of the Republican National Convention and on the tails of a media blitz by the "never Trump" group, which has produced some of the most viral political ads of the election cycle.

What he's saying: "Dr. King said our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter," Steele told MSNBC on Monday.

  • "And we're at a point where it matters how a president leads. It matters what a president says to young men and women who are coming into government service, as they look at how he treats government servants."
  • "It matters how he handles a crisis, it matters how he leads the people through that crisis. All these things matter."

Go deeper: Jeff Flake joins "Republicans for Biden" group

Go deeper

Updated Nov 6, 2020 - Axios Events

Watch: A conversation unpacking the news following Election Day

Axios's Courtenay Brown and Margaret Talev hosted a conversation unpacking Election 2020, featuring Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci and The Lincoln Project co-founder Steve Schmidt. Discussing the immediate results of the election and impending results from key swing states, Axios's Niala Boodhoo and Mike Allen opened the event.

Scaramucci discussed his projections on the impact of a Biden win, from economic policies to President-elect Biden's ability to work across the political aisle.

  • On his view of Trump's economic policies: "[It's] a hijacked, deformed brand of Republicanism...massive deficit spending and sometimes very reckless behavior when it relates to public health and safety."

Steve Schmidt assessed the impact of the Lincoln Project on the 2020 election, his observations on geopolitical trends, and discussed how the Lincoln Project plans to move forward into 2021.

  • On the role of the Lincoln Project during the election: "We were effective in accomplishing what we wanted to do: defining the race around Trump. We've always thought that the race was about one thing...it wasn't about issues. It wasn't about policy."
  • How Trump's ideology fits into global trends: "I believe it's a statist authoritarian ideology with fascistic markers...All over the world, we see democratic recession. It is not a mistake that Nigel Farage is on a stage with Trump in Arizona."

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse highlighted the integrity of the voting process in light of President Trump's claims that President-elect Biden was working to steal the election.

  • On the legitimacy of the election: "It also looks like the vote the count has been done in a pretty legitimate way…there have been lots of allegations of fraud, but it's all been just talk and there's been no evidence to support any of it."
  • On his Senate colleagues' view: "I've got a lot of colleagues who are going to find the end of Donald Trump a real relief. And by colleagues, I mean Republican colleagues."

Thank you Bank of America for sponsoring this event.

US cites Ukrainian oligarch Kolomoyskyy for involvement "in significant corruption"

State Secretary Antony Blinken on Friday designated former Ukrainian public official Ihor Kolomoyskyy as an individual involved "in significant corruption."

Why it matters: The designation prohibits Kolomoysky and his immediate family from traveling to the U.S. and signals that the Biden administration will help Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in his fight against oligarchs and entrenched corruption. U.S. authorities view Kolomoyskyy as among the most powerful of the oligarchs.

U.S. economy added 379,000 jobs in February

Data: FRED; Chart: Axios Visuals

The economy added 379,000 jobs in February, while the unemployment rate dropped from 6.3% to 6.2%, the Labor Department said on Friday.

Why it matters: The first Biden-era jobs report shows hiring surged as coronavirus cases eased — though a full recovery remains far off. Economists expected the economy to add roughly 182,000 jobs last month, after adding a paltry 49,000 in January.

This story is breaking news. Please check back for updates.