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Vice President Mike Pence with Axios' Mike Allen. Photo: Chuck Kennedy

Quick hits from the Axios interview Wednesday with Vice President Mike Pence.

  • On North Korea: Pence said the nation is "the most tyrannical and oppressive regime on the planet," and that nothing changes in the U.S.' approach until they get rid of their nuclear weapons.
  • On seeing Kim Yo-jung at the Olympics: "I didn't avoid the dictator's sister. But I did ignore her...I didn't believe it was proper for the USA to giver her any attention in that forum."
  • On Rob Porter: "As I said, and as the White House has said, I think the White House could have handled this better. And I still feel that way."
  • On chief of staff John Kelly's handling of Porter: "John Kelly has done a remarkable job as chief of staff...and I look forward to continuing to work with him for many, many months to come."
  • On special counsel Robert Mueller: Pence said the investigation isn't "something I spend a lot of time thinking about," but that the White House has "been fully cooperating with the Special Counsel, and I can assure you that we will continue to."
  • Pence said the U.S. intelligence communities have concluded that none of Russia's efforts "had any impact on the outcome of the 2016 election." That isn't exactly true.
  • On Joy Behar's remarks about his faith on The View: "To have ABC maintain a broadcast forum that compared Christianity to mental illness is just wrong...It demonstrates how out of touch same in the main stream media are with the faith and values of the American people."

Go deeper

New wave of strikes will test worker power

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Thousands of John Deere workers hit the picket line this week after the union smacked down a new worker contract from the farm and equipment maker.

Why it matters: There’s a wave of worker angst spreading across the country. They wield new power that’s come with a historic worker shortage.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
2 hours ago - Technology

The smart city comes of age

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Better sensors, more intelligent AI, and the coming wave of 5G wireless could finally fulfill the promise of the smart city.

Why it matters: How we organize, run and power our cities will be increasingly important in the years ahead, as urbanization expands and the damaging effects of climate change compound.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
11 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Key clean power provision likely won't survive in Dems' spending bill

A construction worker walks along a dirt road at the Avangrid Renewables La Joya wind farm in Encino, New Mexico, on Aug. 5, 2020. Photo: Cate Dingley/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A pillar of Democrats' plans to speed deployment of zero-carbon electricity is likely to be cut from major spending and tax legislation they are struggling to move on a party-line vote, per multiple reports and a Capitol Hill aide.

Driving the news: The New York Times, citing anonymous congressional aides and lobbyists, reports that West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin (D) has told the White House he "strongly opposes" the Clean Electricity Performance Program.