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Gov. Mike Parson addresses the media at the Missouri State Capitol Building in Jefferson City in 2019. Photo: Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images

Gov. Mike Parson (R) told Fox News Monday "without a doubt" he would pardon Mark and Patricia McCloskey if they're convicted over pulling guns on anti-racism protesters outside their mansion.

The big picture: St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner said earlier Monday she'd charged the couple with felony unlawful use of a weapon over images of their actions, which went viral last month. Parson told Fox host Sean Hannity the charges were "unfortunate" and marked a "sad day" for Missouri.

What he's saying: Parson said he'd "do everything within the constitution" to protect them because they're " law-abiding citizens."

  • "They're being attacked, frankly, by a political process," he said, adding they had "every right" to protect their property.
  • "If you had a mob coming towards you, whether they tore down your gate or not, when they come on your property, they don't have a right to do that in an aggressive manner and people have a right to protect themselves, their family and their property."

Go deeper

Aug 12, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Virginia man who drove into Black Lives Matter protesters jailed for 6 years

Photo: Henrico County Police

An "admitted leader of the Ku Klux Klan" has been sentenced to six years in prison for driving his vehicle into Black Lives Matter protesters in Richmond, Virginia, and faces more charges before a grand jury next month, per the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

The big picture: Harry H. Rogers, 36, of Virginia, received the maximum penalty for "six misdemeanors, including assault, destruction of property and hit-and-run charges" over the June 7 incident after a judge in Henrico County District Court convicted him on Monday, the New York Times notes. The judge ruled the attack was not a hate crime because "the victims were white," WTVR-TV reported. Rogers' three outstanding felony charges are for alleged attempted malicious wounding, AP reports.

Dems race to address, preempt stimulus fraud claims

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Biden officials are working to root out the systematic fraud in unemployment and Paycheck Protection Program claims that plagued the Trump administration’s efforts to boost the economy with coronavirus relief money, Gene Sperling told House committee chairmen privately this week.

Why it matters: President Biden just signed another $1.9 trillion of aid into law, with Sperling tapped to oversee its implementation. And the administration is asking Congress to approve another $2.2 trillion for the first phase of an infrastructure package.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Biden close to picking Nick Burns as China ambassador

Nicholas Burns. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Nicholas Burns, a career diplomat, is in the final stages of vetting to serve as President Biden’s ambassador to China, people familiar with the matter tell Axios.

Why it matters: Across the administration, there's a consensus the U.S. relationship with China will be the most critical — and consequential — of Biden's presidency. From trade to Taiwan, the stakes are high. Burns could be among the first batch of diplomatic nominees announced in the coming weeks.