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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

8 hours ago - Health

Food banks feel the strain without holiday volunteers

People wait in line at Food Bank Community Kitchen on Nov. 25 in New York City. Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Food Bank For New York City

America's food banks are sounding the alarm during this unprecedented holiday season.

The big picture: Soup kitchens and charities, usually brimming with holiday volunteers, are getting far less help.

10 hours ago - Health

AstraZeneca CEO: "We need to do an additional study" on COVID vaccine

Photo: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said on Thursday the company is likely to start a new global trial to measure how effective its coronavirus vaccine is, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: Following Phase 3 trials, Oxford and AstraZeneca said their vaccine was 90% effective in people who got a half dose followed by a full dose, and 62% effective in people who got two full doses.

Updated 13 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus cases rose 10% in the week before Thanksgiving.
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York coronavirus restrictions.
  3. World: Expert says COVID vaccine likely won't be available in Africa until Q2 of 2021 — Europeans extend lockdowns.
  4. Economy: The winners and losers of the COVID holiday season.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.