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Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) tweeted Thursday that President Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election result make it "difficult to imagine a worse, more undemocratic action by a sitting American president."

Why it matters: It's Romney's sharpest, most focused criticism of Trump yet. While the Utah senator has publicly needled the president over his actions during the last few months — especially regarding Trump's embrace of conspiracy theories like QAnon — he often has couched his criticism by targeting people across the political spectrum.

What he's saying:

Having failed to make even a plausible case of widespread fraud or conspiracy before any court of law, the president has now resorted to overt pressure on state and local officials to subvert the will of the people and overturn the election. It is difficult to imagine a worse, more undemocratic action by a sitting American president.

The state of play: Romney's tweet comes ahead of Trump's White House invitation on Friday to Republican Michigan election officials — just as that state moves to certify its election results in President-elect Biden's favor, per the New York Times.

  • A GOP canvasser in Wayne County, Michigan's most populous, said that Trump called her after she attempted to rescind her decision to certify results there.
  • Biden won Michigan over Trump by nearly 150,000 votes.

The big picture: Trump and his campaign are seeking to discredit election tallies in Michigan and other key swing states that flipped to Biden this cycle as the president has engaged in baseless and unproven claims of widespread voter fraud that affected their results.

  • Secretaries of state and election officials across the nation have reported no instances of widespread voter fraud, whether through in-person or mail-in voting.

Go deeper

Most Senate Republicans join Rand Paul effort to dismiss Trump's 2nd impeachment trial

Photo: Joshua Roberts-Pool/Getty Images

Forty-five Senate Republicans, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, supported an effort to dismiss former President Trump's second impeachment trial.

Why it matters: The vote serves as a precursor to how senators will approach next month's impeachment trial, making it highly unlikely the Senate will vote to convict. The House impeached Trump for a second time for "incitement of insurrection" following events from Jan 6. when a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol.

Young people want checks on Big Tech's power

Data: Generation Lab; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

The next generation of college-educated Americans thinks social media companies have too much power and influence on politics and need more government regulation, according to a new survey by Generation Lab for Axios.

Why it matters: The findings follow an election dominated by rampant disinformation about voting fraud on social media; companies' fraught efforts to stifle purveyors of disinformation including former President Trump; and a deadly Jan. 6 insurrection over the election organized largely online.

Mike Allen, author of AM
29 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Fauci's offensive against "craziness"

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

After becoming a top punching bag for the right, Dr. Anthony Fauci is defending himself with a sharp new edge, arguing that an attack on him is an attack on science.

What he's saying: In comments to Kara Swisher on her New York Times "Sway" podcast, shared first with Axios, Fauci says: "It is essential as a scientist that you evolve your opinion and your recommendations based on the data as it evolves. ... And that's the reason why I say people who then criticize me about that are actually criticizing science."