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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday she doesn't believe there should be any debates between President Trump and Joe Biden because she believes Trump "will probably act in a way that is beneath the dignity of the presidency."

Why it matters: Her statement isn't likely to make the Biden campaign happy, as the Trump campaign has attempted to paint Biden as senile and hoping to avoid a direct confrontation. Biden, however, has repeatedly said that he "can hardly wait" to debate the president.

  • The debates have been viewed by the Trump campaign with outsized importance in order to close the polling gap and get Trump within striking distance of Biden by Election Day, writes Axios' Jonathan Swan.

What she's saying: "I don't think there should be any debates. ... I wouldn't legitimize a conversation with him, nor a debate in terms of the presidency of the United States. Now, I know that the Biden campaign thinks in a different way about this."

  • "I think he will also belittle what the debates are supposed to be about. They're not to be about skullduggery on the part of somebody who has no respect for the office he holds — much less the democratic process. Why else would he try to undermine the elections in the manner in which he is doing?"
  • "I don't think that he should dignify that conversation with Donald Trump."

Go deeper: Inside Trump's debate prep

Go deeper

Kellyanne Conway: It "looks like" Biden, Harris will prevail

Photo: Chip Somodevilla via Getty

Kellyanne Conway, a former counselor to President Trump, said “it looks like Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will prevail” in an interview with The 19th that aired on Friday.

Why it matters: Trump and his inner circle have so far refused to publicly acknowledge President-elect Biden won the election. Instead, they've attempted to paint the election process as fraudulent, despite states' certification of Biden's win and a lack of evidence supporting their claims.

Progressives shift focus from Biden's Cabinet to his policy agenda

Joe Biden giving remarks in Wilmington, Del., last month. Photo: Roberto Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images

Some progressives tell Axios they believe the window for influencing President-elect Joe Biden’s Cabinet selections has closed, and they’re shifting focus to policy — hoping to shape Biden's agenda even before he’s sworn in.

Why it matters: The left wing of the party often draws attention for its protests, petitions and tweets, but this deliberate move reflects a determination to move beyond some fights they won't win to engage with Biden strategically, and over the long term.

Dec 4, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Thursday night frights for Biden White House

Reproduced from Homebase; Chart: Axios Visuals 

President-elect Joe Biden is building an economic team to deal with a post-COVID economic free fall, and a jobs report coming out Friday — expected to show reduced hiring last month — is anticipated to give that group a preview of coming attractions.

Why it matters: Biden's economic advisers are worried any failure to inject money into the economy now will only multiply their challenges once they take office, but President Trump remains fixated on litigating his election loss.