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Photo: Cheriss May/NurPhoto via Getty Images

A group of top Republican election strategists announced Tuesday a project to defeat President Trump and those who support his ideology in the 2020 elections in a New York Times op-ed.

The big picture: Called the Lincoln Project, the effort is "aimed at persuading enough disaffected conservatives, Republicans and Republican-leaning independents in swing states and districts to help ensure a victory in the Electoral College, and congressional majorities that don’t enable or abet Mr. Trump’s violations of the Constitution."

The players:

  • George Conway, a Republican lawyer who has launched similar efforts already against the administration and is the husband of Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway.
  • Steve Schmidt, John McCain's chief strategist in 2008.
  • John Weaver, a strategist for John Kasich's 2016 run who also worked on McCain's 2008 and 2000 campaigns.
  • Rick Wilson, a Republican political strategist who was one of the leading figures in the "Never Trump" movement during the 2016 election.

What they're saying:

  • Trump "has neither the moral compass nor the temperament to serve. His vision is limited to what immediately faces him — the problems and risks he chronically brings upon himself and for which others, from countless contractors and companies to the American people, ultimately bear the heaviest burden."
  • "[N]ational Republicans have done far worse than simply march along to Mr. Trump’s beat. Their defense of him is imbued with an ugliness, a meanness and a willingness to attack and slander those who have shed blood for our country, who have dedicated their lives and careers to its defense and its security, and whose job is to preserve the nation’s status as a beacon of hope."
  • "Mr. Trump and his fellow travelers daily undermine the proposition we as a people have a responsibility and an obligation to continually bend the arc of history toward justice. They mock our belief in America as something more meaningful than lines on a map."

The bottom line: The group says that they'll push this message "even if that means Democratic control of the Senate and an expanded Democratic majority in the House."

Go deeper: George Conway leads conservative lawyers in call for "expeditious" Trump impeachment

Go deeper

10 mins ago - Sports

NFL to fine unvaccinated players $14K for violating COVID-19 protocols

Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs wears a facemask while preparing for the start of Super Bowl LV. Photo: Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The NFL will fine unvaccinated players $14,650 if they violate COVID-19 protocols this season, ESPN reports.

The big picture: The rule change comes two days after the NFL announced that postponed games due to coronavirus outbreaks among unvaccinated players or staffers will not be rescheduled and teams responsible for delays will automatically forfeit.

2 hours ago - Sports

The new faces of NBC's Olympics coverage

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Cy Cyr/PGA Tour via Getty Images

A new(ish) face will be leading NBCUniversal's prime-time coverage of the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games: veteran sportscaster Mike Tirico.

Why it matters: It's Tirico's first run as prime-time host for the Summer Olympics. Legendary broadcaster Bob Costas hosted 12 Olympic Games between 1988 and 2016 for NBC before handing over the prime-time spot to Tirico in 2018.

Ina Fried, author of Login
3 hours ago - Sports

Behind the scenes at the COVID Olympics

Photo illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios, Photo: Steph Chambers/Getty Images

TOKYO — The COVID rule-breaking was obvious at Friday's opening ceremony, when athletes were clearly visible on TV with masks below their noses, but an athlete tells Axios that the rule-breaking has been going on well before that.

  • It's been happening at least since athletes arrived in the Olympic Village, where masks were dropped below noses and different teams were forced to share buses.