Evan Vucci / AP

We knew the Vice President felt he'd been misled by Michael Flynn over the former national security advisor's phone calls with the Russian ambassador. Now we know the extent to which Mike Pence was operating in the dark.

Pence's spokesman Marc Lotter confirmed to us in an email that Pence only learned of Flynn's misleading statements — that the General had in fact discussed sanctions with the Russians — after reading about it in the Washington Post.

What we've been told about the timeline: On January 26, the Justice Department briefed the White House counsel Don McGahn about Flynn's misleading statements. President Trump was immediately informed of the situation, according to Press Secretary Sean Spicer. Spicer has said the White House has "been reviewing and evaluating this issue on a daily basis for a couple of weeks," and Trump ultimately decided he couldn't trust Flynn.

The problem: Why did it take so long for the President to request Flynn's resignation? And why did the Vice President — the man Flynn sent out on national TV with a categorical falsehood — have to get his information from a newspaper?

Go deeper

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The fight over fracking

Fracking has become a flashpoint in the election's final week, particularly in Pennsylvania where both President Trump and Joe Biden made stops on Monday. But much of the political rhetoric has ignored that the industry has gone from boom to bust, beset by layoffs, bankruptcies and fire-sale mergers.

Axios Re:Cap digs into the state of fracking, and what it means for the future of American energy, with Bob McNally, president of Rapidan Energy Group.

Democrats sound alarm on mail-in votes

Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Democrats are calling a last-minute audible on mail-in voting after last night's Supreme Court ruling on Wisconsin.

Driving the news: Wisconsin Democrats and the Democratic secretary of state of Michigan are urging voters to return absentee ballots to election clerks’ offices or drop boxes. They are warning that the USPS may not be able to deliver ballots by the Election Day deadline.

Nxivm cult leader Keith Raniere sentenced to life in prison

Carts full of court documents related to the U.S. v. Keith Raniere case arrive at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York in May 2019. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Nxivm cult leader Keith Raniere, 60, was sentenced to 120 years in prison on Tuesday in federal court for sex trafficking among other crimes, the New York Times reports.

Catch up quick: Raniere was convicted last summer with sex trafficking, conspiracy, sexual exploitation of a child, racketeering, forced labor and possession of child pornography. His so-called self-improvement workshops, which disguised rampant sexual abuse, were popular among Hollywood and business circles.

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