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Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

"Mick Mulvaney, the interim director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, told banking industry executives on Tuesday that they should press lawmakers hard to pursue their agenda, and revealed that, as a congressman, he would meet only with lobbyists if they had contributed to his campaign," per N.Y. Times' Glenn Thrush.

Yes, but (Update): Mulvaney's office says his quote — when viewed in full — was meant to encourage constituents to take time to visit with their members of Congress. Mulvaney also said: “If you came from back home and sat in my lobby, I talk to you without exception, regardless of the financial contributions."

The full quote:

“We had a hierarchy in my office in Congress. If you’re a lobbyist who never gave us money, I didn’t talk to you. If you’re a lobbyist who gave us money, I might talk to you. If you came from back home and sat in my lobby, I talk to you without exception, regardless of the financial contributions. People coming from back home, to tell people in Congress what issues are important to them, is one of the fundamental underpinnings of our representative democracy, and you have to continue to do it.

Editor's note: This post has been updated to add the Mulvaney office's claims on the context of the quote.

Go deeper

Dave Lawler, author of World
32 mins ago - World

China's Xi Jinping congratulates Biden on election win

Photo: Paul J. Richards/AFP via Getty Images

Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a message to President-elect Biden on Wednesday to congratulate him on his election victory, according to the Xinhua state news agency.

Why it matters: China's foreign ministry offered Biden a belated, and tentative, congratulations on Nov. 13, but Xi had not personally acknowledged Biden's win. The leaders of Brazil, Mexico and Russia are among the very few leaders still declining to congratulate Biden.

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
1 hour ago - Sports

College basketball is back

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A new season of college basketball begins Wednesday, and the goal is clear: March Madness must be played.

Why it matters: On March 12, 2020, the lights went out on college basketball, depriving teams like Baylor (who won our tournament simulation), Dayton, San Diego State and Florida State of perhaps their best chance to win a national championship.

2 hours ago - World

Scoop: Israeli military prepares for possibility Trump will strike Iran

Defense Minister Benny Gantz attends a cabinet meeting. Photo: Abir Sultan/POOL/AFP via Getty

The Israel Defense Forces have in recent weeks been instructed to prepare for the possibility that the U.S. will conduct a military strike against Iran before President Trump leaves office, senior Israeli officials tell me.

Why it matters: The Israeli government instructed the IDF to undertake the preparations not because of any intelligence or assessment that Trump will order such a strike, but because senior Israeli officials anticipate “a very sensitive period” ahead of Biden's inauguration on Jan. 20.