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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

Bipartisan group of senators unveil $908 billion COVID stimulus proposal

Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) in the Capitol in 2018. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

A bipartisan group of senators on Tuesday proposed a $908 billion coronavirus stimulus package, in one of the few concrete steps toward COVID relief made by Congress in several months.

Why it matters: Recent data shows that the economic recovery is floundering as coronavirus cases surge and hospitals threaten to be overwhelmed heading into what is likely to be a grim winter.

Inside Patch's new local newsletter platform

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Patch, the hyperlocal (and profitable) local digital news company, has built a new software platform called "Patch Labs" that lets local news reporters publish their own newsletters and websites, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: It follows a growing trend of journalists going solo via newsletters at the national level.

Scoop: Politico stars plot new Playbook

Anna Palmer and Jake Sherman. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Three of Politico’s biggest reporting stars plan to launch a competitor to the company’s Politico Playbook franchise, sources tell me. 

Why it matters:  Jake Sherman, Anna Palmer and John Bresnahan will launch a daily newsletter in 2021 as a stand-alone company, the sources say. In effect, they will be competing against the Playbook franchise they helped create and grow. 

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