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Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday that the Mueller investigation cleared President Trump on the question of whether his campaign conspired with Russia in the 2016 election, and that it's up to voters to decide whether the campaign's various contacts with Russians were "unethical or "immoral."

"I think the voters are going to decide about the ethics and morality of the people on either side. People liked Bill Clinton, even though they might not have thought he was that ethical. That's not the job of the House Intelligence Committee. It's not the job of the House Oversight Committee. It's not the job of the House Oversight Committee. ... Voters make decision about the candidates in other places. And importantly, members of Congress — even if they are the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee — don't get to substitute their judgment for the voters'."

Context: Mulvaney was responding to a speech by Rep. Adam Schiff in which the House Intelligence chairman listed off a number of incidents during the 2016 campaign that have raised questions about Trump associates' ties to Russia. Every Republican on the House Intelligence Committee called on Schiff to resign for promoting what they called "a demonstrably false narrative" about Trump-Russia collusion.

Why it matters: Democrats have largely accepted that special counsel Robert Mueller was not able to establish a criminal conspiracy in his investigation, but they are still pushing for the Justice Department to release the full report in order to determine whether Trump and his campaign acted unethically or may otherwise be compromised.

Go deeper

2 hours ago - World

Special report: Trump's U.S.-China transformation

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump began his term by launching the trade war with China he had promised on the campaign trail. By mid-2020, however, Trump was no longer the public face of China policy-making as he became increasingly consumed with domestic troubles, giving his top aides carte blanche to pursue a cascade of tough-on-China policies.

Why it matters: Trump alone did not reshape the China relationship. But his trade war shattered global norms, paving the way for administration officials to pursue policies that just a few years earlier would have been unthinkable.

McConnell: Trump "provoked" Capitol mob

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Tuesday that the pro-Trump mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 was "provoked by the president and other powerful people."

Why it matters: Trump was impeached by the House last week for "incitement of insurrection." McConnell has not said how he will vote in Trump's coming Senate impeachment trial, but sources told Axios' Mike Allen that the chances of him voting to convict are higher than 50%.

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

GOP leaders skip Trump sendoff in favor of church with Biden

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) in July. Photo by Erin Scott-Pool/Getty Images

Congressional leaders, including House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, will skip President Trump's departure ceremony in Maryland tomorrow morning in favor of attending mass with incoming President Joe Biden ahead of his inauguration, congressional sources familiar with their plans tell Axios.

Why it matters: Their decision is a clear sign of unity before Biden takes the oath of office.