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Dmitry Lovetsky / AP

NBC's Megyn Kelly previewed Friday night her exclusive interview with Russian president Vladimir Putin, who responded to allegations of Russian interference during the 2016 U.S election:

"Hackers can be anywhere. They can be in Russia, in Asia...even in America, Latin America ... They can even be hackers, by the way, in the United States, who very skillfully and professionally, shifted the blame, as we say, on to Russia. Can you imagine something like that? In the midst of a political battle. By some calculations it was convenient for them to release this information, so they released it, citing Russia. Could you imagine something like that? I can."

Why it matters: Putin is casting out hypotheses about where the hackers are from, but none of his theories point to Russia or its hacking capabilities. He also suggested to Kelly that the CIA could be involved.

Go deeper

38 mins ago - Politics & Policy

McConnell drops filibuster demand, paving way for power-sharing deal

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (R) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell attend a joint session of Congress. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has abandoned his demand that Democrats state, in writing, that they would not abandon the legislative filibuster.

Between the lines: McConnell was never going to agree to a 50-50 power sharing deal without putting up a fight over keeping the 60-vote threshold. But the minority leader ultimately caved after it became clear that delaying the organizing resolution was no longer feasible.

2 hours ago - Technology

Scoop: Google won't donate to members of Congress who voted against election results

Sen. Ted Cruz led the group of Republicans who opposed certifying the results. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Google will not make contributions from its political action committee this cycle to any member of Congress who voted against certifying the results of the presidential election, following the deadly Capitol riot.

Why it matters: Several major businesses paused or pulled political donations following the events of Jan. 6, when pro-Trump rioters, riled up by former President Trump, stormed the Capitol on the day it was to certify the election results.

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Minority Mitch still setting Senate agenda

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Chuck Schumer may be majority leader, yet in many ways, Mitch McConnell is still running the Senate show — and his counterpart is about done with it.

Why it matters: McConnell rolled over Democrats unapologetically, and kept tight control over his fellow Republicans, while in the majority. But he's showing equal skill as minority leader, using political jiujitsu to convert a perceived weakness into strength.

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