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On today's episode of CBS' "Face the Nation," host Margaret Brennan pressed White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney on Donald Trump's history of anti-Muslim rhetoric.

The key exchange:

  • Brennan: "As a candidate, the President called for a ban on all Muslims entering the United States. He said Islam hates us. This kind of language in the past leads to these questions of why isn't the president now directly using that megaphone to condemn it.
  • Mulvaney: "Well, then ... take the words and put them in one category and take the actions and put them in another. Something the president doesn't get hardly any credit for or any attention to is the work he's done in defense of religious minorities all around the world up to and including Muslims in the Middle East. ... So I hear what folks say, 'Oh, Donald Trump said this during the campaign.' Look at what we've done while we've been here. I don't think anybody could say that the president is anti-Muslim."
  • Brennan: "Well, the president's tweeting now about a TV host who was suspended for anti-Muslim rhetoric. So it's I think a fair question to ask you about this."

Behind the scenes: We often hear this exact line from administration officials as justification for Trump's rhetoric: "Take the words and put them in one category and take the actions and put them in another." A senior European government official told me former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis often used the same line privately with allies to try to assuage their concerns about Trump.

  • But Brennan made a painfully obvious point that still bears repeating: Trump's words matter.

Go deeper

Updated 47 mins ago - Health

Massage, facial, pedicure... intravenous drip?

A salon on the Upper East Side of New York that offers IV drip therapies. Photo: Jennifer A. Kingson/Axios

IV drips — the kind you might get if you're rushed to the hospital — are trending as a spa treatment, thanks in part to endorsements by celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Madonna.

Why it matters: Like other "wellness" trends with a whiff of medical imprimatur, IV nutrient drips can be harmless or mildly restorative — or go awry, particularly in the wrong hands.

U.S. sounds alarm on Ukraine

Conscripts line up at a Russian railway station yesterday before departing for Army service. Photo: Sergei Malgavko/TASS via Getty Images

The Biden administration is "deeply concerned" by new intelligence — detailed for Axios and other outlets — showing Russia stepping up preparations to invade Ukraine as soon as early 2022.

Why it matters: Most of this was known from public sources and satellite imagery, but the administration is sending a stronger signal by releasing specific details from the intelligence community.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

Philanthropy in the age of crypto

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The best charities are increasingly effective. That's the clear message sent by Open Philanthropy, the think tank that doubles as the grant-making vehicle for Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz and his wife Cari Tuna.

Why it matters: With tech and crypto wealth becoming a fast-growing part of the philanthropic pie, there's more of an emphasis than ever on effectiveness — what the newly-divorced Melinda French Gates, in her recent Giving Pledge update, characterizes as giving as "impactfully as possible."