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Miles Taylor, the former chief of staff of the Department of Homeland Security, claimed in a political ad released Tuesday that President Trump offered to "pardon U.S. government officials for breaking the law to implement his immigration policies."

Why it matters: Taylor, who quit the Trump administration in 2019 and endorsed Joe Biden last week, is one of a number of Republicans seeking to stop the president's re-election. Trump denied that he offered pardons to immigration officials when the allegations were first reported by the Washington Post and New York Times in August 2019.

What he's saying:

"Even though he had been told on repeated occasions that the way he wanted to do it was illegal, his response was to say, ‘Do it. If you get in trouble, I’ll pardon you.’
It was made clear to the president that it was against the law for us to simply deny anyone entry across the southern border including people who were fleeing violence, persecution, danger. Under the law, they had the right to come in to try to seek refuge in the United States. He said, ‘I don’t care.’ His exact words were, ‘The bins are full.’
The president offered to pardon U.S. government officials for breaking the law to implement his immigration policy. That was the moment I decided I was going to have to quit the Trump administration."

The big picture: Taylor and other former U.S. officials and advisers from the Trump administration have formed an anti-Trump group called the Republican Political Alliance for Integrity and Reform. "We’ll have a broad group of Republicans focused on denying Trump a second term, and most importantly, planning for a post-Trump GOP and America,” Taylor told NBC News.

The Department of Homeland Security did not respond to a request for comment.

Go deeper

Dave Lawler, author of World
Nov 20, 2020 - World

Trump's last-minute foreign policy whirlwind

Trump visits Afghanistan in 2019. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

The Trump administration is working quickly to shift U.S. policies and, where possible, bind the incoming Biden administration to them.

Why it matters: All of these steps are being taken without any coordination with Biden's team, which still lacks access to the intelligence and resources typically made available during a transition. In many cases, the Trump administration is trying to proactively thwart Biden's agenda.

Biden's Day 1 challenges: Systemic racism

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Kirsty O'Connor (PA Images)/Getty Images

Advocates are pushing President-elect Biden to tackle systemic racism with a Day 1 agenda that includes ending the detention of migrant children and expanding DACA, announcing a Justice Department investigation of rogue police departments and returning some public lands to Indigenous tribes.

Why it matters: Biden has said the fight against systemic racism will be one of the top goals of his presidency — but the expectations may be so high that he won't be able to meet them.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
1 hour ago - Health

Most Americans are still vulnerable to the coronavirus

Adapted from Bajema, et al., 2020, "Estimated SARS-CoV-2 Seroprevalence in the US as of September 2020"; Cartogram: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

As of September, the vast majority of Americans did not have coronavirus antibodies, according to a new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Why it matters: As the coronavirus spreads rapidly throughout most of the country, most people remain vulnerable to it.

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