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Palantir CEO Alex Karp. Photo: Bertrand Guay/AFP via Getty Images

Palantir CEO Alex Karp defended his company's government work, including working for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), in a CNBC interview on Thursday.

Why it matters: The Peter Thiel-backed company is often criticized both for the secrecy and nature of its work with government and law enforcement.

What he's saying: "​The core mission of our company always was to make the West, especially America, the strongest in the world, the strongest it's ever been, for the sake of global peace and prosperity, and we feel like this year we really showed what that would mean," Karp said in an interview with "Squawk Box" co-host Andrew Ross Sorkin from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

  • Palantir is said to have more than $15 billion in government contracts, CNBC reported.

As for the ICE work specifically, Karp noted the relationship started under President Obama, adding:

"Obviously there's a lot of legitimate concern about what happens on our border, how it happens, and what does the enforcement look like? It's a legitimate, complex issue. My personal position is we acknowledge the complexity. The people protesting, whom I respect, should also acknowledge that complexity."

Go deeper:

Go deeper

25 mins ago - World

U.S. strikes Iran-backed militia structures in Syria

President Biden at the Pentagon on Feb. 10. Photo: Alex Brandon - Pool/Getty Images

The United States on Thursday carried out an airstrike against facilities in Syria linked to an Iran-backed militia group, the Pentagon announced.

The state of play: The strike, approved by President Biden, comes "in response to recent attacks against American and Coalition personnel in Iraq, and to ongoing threats to those personnel," Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said in a statement.

Senate parliamentarian rules $15 minimum wage cannot be included in relief package

Photo: Al Drago/Getty Images

The Senate parliamentarian ruled Thursday that the provision to increase the minimum wage to $15/hour cannot be included in the broader $1.9 trillion COVID relief package.

Why it matters: It's now very likely that any increase in the minimum wage will need bipartisan support, as the provision cannot be passed with the simple Senate majority that Democrats are aiming to use for President Biden's rescue bill.

Dave Lawler, author of World
45 mins ago - World

Biden's big Saudi reset

Mohammed bin Salman. Photo: Ryad Kramdi/AFP via Getty

President Biden spoke with Saudi Arabia's King Salman this evening ahead of the release of a CIA report expected to implicate the king's son, and the kingdom's de facto ruler, in the murder of a U.S.-based journalist, Jamal Khashoggi.

Why it matters: In one month, Biden has ended support for the Saudi war effort in Yemen, frozen a large arms deal and snubbed Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) by declining to speak with him directly.