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Photo: Mikhail Metzel/TASS via Getty Images

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Monday that the U.S. would impose more sanctions targeting Yevgeny Prigozhin, the Russian businessman known as "Putin's chef," for election interference activities carried out by his troll farm.

The big picture: Prigozhin and his social media manipulation operation, the Internet Research Agency, were indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller in February 2018 for election meddling. The additional sanctions come in the wake of a whistleblower's allegations that President Trump abused the power of his office to solicit 2020 election interference from Ukraine, which are now at the heart of a formal impeachment inquiry.

The backdrop:

  • Last Friday, the Washington Post reported that Trump told the Russian ambassador and the Russian foreign minister in a 2017 Oval Office meeting that he was "unconcerned about Moscow's interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election because the United States did the same in other countries."
  • However, Pompeo said in announcing the sanctions: "We have been clear: We will not tolerate foreign interference in our elections." He added: "We will not hesitate to impose further costs on Russia for its destabilizing and unacceptable activities."

Go deeper: FEC chair claims GOP commissioner blocked memo about foreign election interference

Go deeper

29 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Vaccinations, relief timing dominate Sweet 16 call

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) speaks during a news conference in December with a group of bipartisan lawmakers. Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Vaccine distribution, pandemic data and a cross-party comity dominated today's virtual meeting between White House officials and a bipartisan group of 16 senators, Senator Angus King told Axios.

Why it matters: Given Democrats' razor-thin majority in both chambers of Congress, President Biden will have to rely heavily on this group of centrist lawmakers — dubbed the "Sweet 16" — to pass any substantial legislation.

Progressives pressure Schumer to end filibuster

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: Win McNamee / Getty Images

A progressive coalition is pressuring Chuck Schumer on his home turf by running a digital billboard in Times Square urging the new majority leader to end the Senate filibuster.

Why it matters: Schumer is up for re-election in 2o22 and could face a challenger, and he's also spearheading his party's broader effort to hold onto its narrow congressional majorities.

5 hours ago - Health

U.S. surpasses 25 million COVID cases

A mass COVID-19 vaccination site at Dodger Stadium on Jan. 22 in Los Angeles, California. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

The U.S has confirmed more than 25 million coronavirus cases, per Johns Hopkins data updated on Sunday.

The big picture: President Biden has said he expects the country's death toll to exceed 500,000 people by next month, as the rate of deaths due to the virus continues to escalate.