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Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) on ABC's "This Week" Sunday refuted former President Trump's unfounded claims that the 2020 election was stolen, making clear that "the election was fair."

What they're saying: "As a part of our due diligence, we looked at over 60 different accusations made in multiple states. While there were some irregularities, there were none of the irregularities which would have risen to the point where they would have changed the vote outcome in a single state."

  • “The election was fair, as fair as we've seen. We simply did not win the election, as Republicans, for the presidency," Rounds said.
  • He said the GOP should focus on "what it's going to take to win the presidency. If we simply look back and tell our people, ‘Don't vote because there's cheating going on,’ then we're going to put ourselves in a huge disadvantage.'"

Worth noting: Asked if he would support prosecution of Trump if he's found to be complicit in the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol, Rounds said it would be the Justice Department's call, but that the "shield of the presidency does not exist for someone who is a former president."

  • Rounds did not rule out supporting Trump if he ran for president in 2024, telling host George Stephanopoulos that he would "take a hard look at it."

Go deeper

Focus group: Biden weak on COVID response, strong on democracy

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Pool/Getty Images 

As President Biden approaches the one-year mark of his presidency, some swing voters say his handling of the pandemic has weakened him in their eyes.

  • But they see him projecting strength when he talks about protecting American democracy.

Driving the news: These were key takeaways from the latest Engagious/Schlesinger swing-voter focus groups for Axios, conducted Tuesday, just days after the president's Jan. 6 anniversary speech.

Updated 3 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: The end of the Omicron wave is in sight — Transplants rebound from COVID lull.
  2. Vaccines: WHO: No evidence that healthy children, teens need boosters — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden to announce plan to distribute 400 million masks for free — Government website for free COVID tests launches early.
  4. World: WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older.
  5. Variant tracker

University of Michigan reaches $490M settlement in sex abuse case

Jon Vaughn, a former University of Michigan and NFL football player, speaks at a press conference in Ann Arbor, Mich., in June 2021. Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

The University of Michigan on Wednesday reached a $490 million settlement with over a thousand survivors who allege that they were sexually assaulted by a former physician in the school's athletic department.

Driving the news: "It's been a long and challenging journey and these survivors have refused to remain silent," attorney Parker Stinar said Wednesday.

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