Photos: Jeff Kowalsky/AFP via Getty Images; Alex Wong/Getty Images

Mike Bloomberg's campaign said Friday that vandalism at its Knoxville, Tenn., office "echoes language from [Bernie Sanders'] campaign and its supporters," even as it admitted that it didn't know who was responsible.

Why it matters: It marks a massive escalation in the war of words between the two Democratic presidential candidates that has spilled into the open over the last week — covering everything from their heart health to debate performances to electability.

What happened: The Tennessee office had profanities spray painted across its glass doors — along with posters reading Authoritarian," "Classist" and "Oligarch" placed on its windows, per Knox News.

What they're saying: "We don't know who is responsible for this vandalism, but we do know it echoes language from the Sanders campaign and its supporters," Bloomberg campaign manager Kevin Sheekey said in a statement.

  • "Over the past week, we've seen similar attacks against Mike Bloomberg 2020 offices in multiple states. Fortunately, no one has been injured. But this needs to end before someone gets hurt."
  • "We call on Bernie Sanders to immediately condemn these attacks and for his campaign to end the Trump-like rhetoric that is clearly encouraging his supporters to engage in behavior that has no place in our politics."

Go deeper

FDA chief vows agency will not accept political pressure on coronavirus vaccine

Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn promised that "science will guide our decision" for a coronavirus vaccine at a Senate hearing on Wednesday.

Why it matters: More Americans are expressing doubt about a first-generation vaccine, despite President Trump's efforts to push an unrealistic timeline that conflicts with medical experts in his administration.

CEO confidence rises for the first time in over 2 years

Data: Business Roundtable; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

A closely-watched CEO economic confidence index rose for the first time after declining for nine straight quarters, according to a survey of 150 chief executives of the biggest U.S. companies by trade group Business Roundtable.

Why it matters: The index, which still remains at a decade low, reflects corporate America's expectations for sales, hiring and spending — which plummeted amid uncertainty when the pandemic hit.

Official says White House political appointees "commandeered" Bolton book review

John Bolton's book "The Room Where it Happened." Photo: Chris Delmas/AFP via Getty Images

A former career official at the National Security Council claims her pre-publication review of former national security adviser John Bolton's explosive book on President Trump was "commandeered by political appointees for a seemingly political purpose," according to a letter from her lawyers filed in court on Tuesday.

Why it matters: The White House fought against the publication of Bolton's book for most of the year on the grounds that it contained harmful and "significant amounts of classified information."

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