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Mike Pence at an event sponsored by the Palmetto Family organization in South Carolina. Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

Former Vice President Mike Pence gave his first speech since leaving office on Thursday night, disparaging the Biden administration, while praising the Trump administration and reflecting on an era of "prosperity and security."

Why it matters: Despite the rift that emerged between the former president and Pence toward the end of Trump's term, the ex-VP closely aligned himself with his old boss, signaling that Trump still looms large over the GOP.

Driving the news: Pence heaped praise on the achievements of the Trump administration, from pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal to appointing "300 conservatives to federal courts at every level."

What he's saying: The Trump administration, Pence said, was "four years of consequence, four years of results and four years of promises made and promises kept."

  • Conservatives must "stand up and unite behind a positive agenda and win back America," Pence added.
  • He blasted President Biden's administration, saying it had been 100 days of "cancelling our most cherished liberties."

Worth noting: Pence made only a passing reference to the Jan. 6 Capitol siege, in which some pro-Trump rioters called for him to be killed.

What to watch, via the Washington Post: "The choice of South Carolina for Pence’s post-administration debut has definite political overtones, helping him develop exposure for a potential 2024 presidential bid."

Go deeper

Call notes show Trump urged DOJ to declare election "corrupt"

Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Then-President Trump pressed top Justice Department officials in a December phone call to "just say that the election was corrupt and leave the rest to me" and Republican congressmen, according to handwritten notes of the call released by the House Oversight Committee on Friday.

Why it matters: It’s the latest example of how aggressively Trump publicly and privately pressured the Justice Department to overturn the results of the election, despite no evidence of widespread voter fraud.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. sounds alarm on Ukraine

Conscripts line up at a Russian railway station yesterday before departing for Army service. Photo: Sergei Malgavko/TASS via Getty Images

The Biden administration is "deeply concerned" by new intelligence — detailed for Axios and other outlets — showing Russia stepping up preparations to invade Ukraine as soon as early 2022.

Why it matters: Most of this was known from public sources and satellite imagery, but the administration is sending a stronger signal by releasing specific details from the intelligence community.

CNN fires Chris Cuomo

Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for CNN

CNN said Saturday evening it has fired one of its star anchors, Chris Cuomo, following new revelations from a legal review made by the company into Cuomo's involvement in the management of his brother's sexual harassment scandal.

Why it matters: Saturday's firing speaks to how much pressure CNN was under by employees and critics to address Cuomo's behavior.

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