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Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

Mike Bloomberg will pay for the nearly 500 staffers on his presidential campaign to continue working through November to support whoever wins the 2020 Democratic nomination, even if it's not him, NBC News reports.

Why it matters: The former New York mayor is focused on getting President Trump out of the White House, and his vast operation — focused beyond the traditional early states — could provide a strong foundation in key battleground states, like North Carolina and Pennsylvania.

  • The billionaire has also established a large tech operation, which will help the future nominee compete with Trump's digital prowess.
  • Bloomberg has pledged to spend $15 million on efforts to drive voter turnout, and his staffers could help that push effort in key states.

What they're saying: "Mike Bloomberg is either going to be the nominee or the most important person supporting the Democratic nominee for president," Kevin Sheekey, Bloomberg’s campaign manager, told NBC.

The catch: Bloomberg's staff won't directly work for the Democratic nominee's campaign since the cost of operations would exceed federal contribution limits on his behalf.

  • The group would instead operate as an independent group privately funded by Bloomberg.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

2 hours ago - World

Special report: Trump's U.S.-China transformation

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump began his term by launching the trade war with China he had promised on the campaign trail. By mid-2020, however, Trump was no longer the public face of China policy-making as he became increasingly consumed with domestic troubles, giving his top aides carte blanche to pursue a cascade of tough-on-China policies.

Why it matters: Trump alone did not reshape the China relationship. But his trade war shattered global norms, paving the way for administration officials to pursue policies that just a few years earlier would have been unthinkable.

McConnell: Trump "provoked" Capitol mob

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Tuesday that the pro-Trump mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 was "provoked by the president and other powerful people."

Why it matters: Trump was impeached by the House last week for "incitement of insurrection." McConnell has not said how he will vote in Trump's coming Senate impeachment trial, but sources told Axios' Mike Allen that the chances of him voting to convict are higher than 50%.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

GOP leaders skip Trump sendoff in favor of church with Biden

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) in July. Photo by Erin Scott-Pool/Getty Images

Congressional leaders, including House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, will skip President Trump's departure ceremony in Maryland tomorrow morning in favor of attending mass with incoming President Joe Biden ahead of his inauguration, congressional sources familiar with their plans tell Axios.

Why it matters: Their decision is a clear sign of unity before Biden takes the oath of office.

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