Politics & Policy

Why it matters: While Democrats fight to convince voters that they should be the ones tasked with taking down President Trump, the current administration is powering ahead on efforts to restrict immigration, unleash business and reshape the U.S. role in the world.

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Joe Biden will no longer travel to Milwaukee for Democratic convention

Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Joe Biden will no longer be traveling to Milwaukee the week of Aug. 17 to accept his nomination in person at the Democratic National Convention due to COVID-19 concerns, the DNC announced Wednesday.

Why it matters: No planned speakers will travel to Milwaukee, meaning that the convention will be entirely virtual — unlike the hybrid event that the party had previously been planning. Biden will accept the nomination from his home state of Delaware.

Sally Yates: There was a "legitimate basis" for FBI's Flynn interview

Former acting Attorney General Sally Yates testified Wednesday that she believes there was a "legitimate basis" for the FBI to interview then-national security adviser Michael Flynn in January 2017 as part of a counterintelligence investigation into Russian election interference.

Why it matters: The Justice Department under Attorney General Bill Barr is attempting to dismiss the case against Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his conversations with the Russian ambassador, on the grounds that there was no basis for the FBI to interview him in the first place.

Fiona Hill pens book on America's politically polarized future

Photo: Bonnie Jo Mount/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Russia expert and Trump impeachment witness Fiona Hill has penned a book on the future of a polarized America that its publisher says describes "the origins and growth of deep, geographically concentrated opportunity gaps, and show how they have fueled the rise of populism at home and abroad."

Why it matters: Hill's testimony to the House last year argued that an ongoing conspiracy theory about Ukrainian meddling in the 2016 presidential election distracted President Trump from the real threat that Russia poses to America's democracy.

Updated 39 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 18,579,615 — Total deaths: 701,544 — Total recoveries — 11,173,262Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 4,773,775 — Total deaths: 156,8874 — Total recoveries: 1,528,979 — Total tests: 58,239,438Map.
  3. Public health: Moderna skirts disclosures of coronavirus vaccine costs — There’s not much good news about kids and coronavirus.
  4. Business: Auto sales may have turned a corner.
  5. Sports: The return of high school sports hangs in the balance — UConn becomes first FBS team to cancel its football season.
  6. Education: Chicago Public Schools to begin school year with fully remote classes.

Acting State Department inspector general resigns after fewer than 3 months

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at a hearing on July 30. Photo: Greg Nash/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Acting State Department inspector general Stephen Akard announced his retirement on Wednesday, fewer than three months after being tapped to take over for his ousted predecessor Steve Linick, the Washington Post first reported and Axios has confirmed.

Why it matters: Akard was appointed after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo asked Trump to fire Linick, who has since testified that he was conducting five investigations into Pompeo and the State Department.

Why the employee retention credit is an overlooked stimulus issue

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

D.C. remains deadlocked on the next stimulus package, days after extended unemployment benefits ended and days before PPP is set to expire.

Where it stands: One unresolved issue that hasn't gotten enough attention is a proposed expansion of the employee retention credit, which could have a significant impact for companies that have experienced severe revenue declines.

Biden responds to Trump cognitive test challenge: "Why the hell would I?"

Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Joe Biden pushed back against a challenge from President Trump to take a cognitive test during an interview that will air Thursday, reports Yahoo News.

Why it matters: The Trump campaign has been attempting to revamp its attacks against the former vice president, arguing that his mental faculties are diminished.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib fends off Democratic primary challenge in Michigan

Rep. Rashida Tlaib. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib won her Democratic primary against challenger Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones, according to AP.

Why it matters: Tlaib, a democratic socialist and member of "The Squad," found herself in a vulnerable position, facing off against Jones after narrowly beating her two years ago.

4 hours ago - Sports

WNBA players escalate political protest against Sen. Kelly Loeffler

The Seattle Storm's Sue Bird wears a shirt in support of Loeffler's opponent. Photo: Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

WNBA players wore T-shirts on Tuesday endorsing the Democratic opponent of Sen. Kelly Loeffler, the co-owner of the Atlanta Dream who has criticized the league for dedicating its season to the Black Lives Matter movement.

What's happening: The shirts had "Vote Warnock" printed on them, a reference to Atlanta pastor Raphael Warnock, one of the top Democrats running against Loeffler in a special election in November.

Biden confidants see VP choices narrowing to Harris and Rice

Photos: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images; Win McNamee/Getty Images

Confidants of Joe Biden believe his choices for vice president have narrowed to Sen. Kamala Harris and Susan Rice — and would be surprised if he picks anyone else.

The state of play: This is a snapshot of the nearly unanimous read that we get from more than a dozen people close to him.

An election like no other

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The coronavirus will make the 2020 presidential election different from any in modern history: Voting that begins earlier, results that take longer, mail carriers as virtual poll workers and October Surprises that pop in September.

The big picture: Perhaps 80 million Americans will vote early, by mail or in person, Tom Bonier, CEO of TargetSmart, a Democratic political data firm, tells Axios. That's going to set up more of an Election Season than an Election Day — and increase the odds of national turmoil over the vote count.

Exclusive: Inside McCarthy's new GOP messaging platform

House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has given his GOP colleagues new marching orders for stump speeches between now and November, as incumbents worry about how President Trump's own challenges may strain their re-election bids.

Driving the news: McCarthy delivered a PowerPoint presentation to the GOP conference in person last Thursday at the Capitol Visitor Center, with several members joining via Zoom, lawmakers and aides familiar with the gathering tell Axios.

Biden launches $280 million ad push

Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Joe Biden's campaign is launching a $280 million TV and digital ad campaign heading into the fall, targeting 15 states with a message — delivered directly from Biden — about the coronavirus pandemic and the economy.

Why it matters: The size of the buy, which advisers described on a call with reporters Tuesday night, signals a campaign that isn't worried about burning through cash — and it may force the Trump campaign, or associated super PACs, to increase their spending in response.

Missouri voters approve Medicaid expansion

A poll worker helps a voter access his ballot in St. Louis on Tuesday. Photo: Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images

Missouri residents on Tuesday voted for Medicaid expansion for low-income adults by a majority of 52%, AP reports.

Why it matters: Some 230,000 Missourians will benefit from the measure, which marks the sixth time voters have gone against a resistant Republican-led Legislature, Politico notes. It's the 38th state to back the expansion under former President Obama's signature health care law, AP notes. It comes amid the backdrop of a pandemic that's seen over 54,000 cases and more than 1,200 deaths from COVID-19 in Missouri.

Go deeper: The effect of Medicaid expansion on the uninsured

Progressive activist Cori Bush beats incumbent Rep. William Lacy Clay

Cori Bush, who features in "Knock Down the House," about progressives who ran for Congress in 2018, canvasses in St Louis, Missouri, Monday. Photo: Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images

Progressive challenger Cori Bush, who featured in the Netflix documentary "Knock Down the House," defeated Rep. William Lacy Clay (D-Mo.) in the Democratic primary late Tuesday, AP reports.

Why it matters: She'd be the first Black Congress member to represent Missouri if she were elected to the House in November, per the New York Times. Clay, who's been in office for nearly 20 years, beat Bush in 2018. The former homeless woman, now a nurse and ordained pastor, led protests in Ferguson, Missouri, over the 2014 fatal police shooting of Black teen Michael Brown. Bush was endorsed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.).

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

Roger Marshall wins Republican Senate nomination in Kansas primary

Rep. Roger Marshall. Photo: Mark Reinstein/Corbis via Getty Images

Rep. Roger Marshall won the Kansas Republican Senate primary on Tuesday evening, beating former Secretary of State Kris Kobach and a slew of other candidates, AP reports.

Why it matters: Following GOP Sen. Pat Roberts' retirement announcement, some Republicans worry that if Kobach won the primary it would endanger the party's chances of keeping the seat and maintaining a majority in the Senate.

Updated 15 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Primary races to watch in Arizona, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Washington

Photo: Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images

Primary elections on Tuesday in fives states see crowded fields of both Republicans and Democrats hoping to make the ballot in 2020.

What to watch: Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) is "fighting for her political life" in a tight primary race against Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones, who Tlaib beat by 900 votes in 2018, The New York Times writes. Senate Republicans are also watching the primary race in Kansas to see who could replace retiring Republican Sen. Pat Roberts.

15 hours ago - Health

First bipartisan multistate coronavirus testing drive to tackle shortages

A Whittier Street Health Center nurse performs a COVID-19 test in Roxbury, Massachusetts, on Monday. Photo: Matt Stone/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald

A bipartisan group of governors has joined the Rockefeller Foundation to deliver 3 million rapid coronavirus antigen tests to slow the spread of COVID-19 and help states safely reopen, the nonprofit announced Tuesday.

Why it matters: With no national plan, the initiative with Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R), Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D), Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R), Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D), Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R), and Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) would be the first coordinated testing strategy in the U.S.

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