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Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

YouTube removed a video of Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) reading the alleged name of the Ukraine whistleblower on the Senate floor as senators debated President Trump's impeachment earlier this month, Politico reports.

The state of play: The Kentucky senator has been at the forefront of the push to name the whistleblower for months — a fight that triggered a schism between Trump allies and moderates in the GOP.

  • Chief Justice John Roberts had refused to read a question from Paul aloud during the question-and-answer portion of Trump's impeachment trial because it included the alleged name.
  • At the time, Paul defended his decision to CNN's Manu Raju, arguing that he did not single out the alleged whistleblower: "I would say the chief justice did that. By not allowing the question, he's sort of confirming to the public who it is. I have no idea who it is."

What they're saying:

  • Paul told Politico, "It is a chilling and disturbing day in America when giant web companies such as YouTube decide to censure speech. Now, even protected speech, such as that of a senator on the Senate floor, can be blocked from getting to the American people. This is dangerous and politically biased. Nowhere in my speech did I accuse anyone of being a whistleblower, nor do I know the whistleblower’s identity."
  • YouTube spokesperson Ivy Choi said, "Videos, comments, and other forms of content that mention the leaked whistleblower’s name violate YouTube’s Community Guidelines and will be removed from YouTube. We’ve removed hundreds of videos and over ten thousand comments that contained the name. Video uploaders have the option to edit their videos to exclude the name and reupload."

Go deeper

Updated 13 mins ago - Health

COVID-19 Omicron variant cases identified in Europe, U.K.

People wearing masks walk in London on Nov. 25. Photo: Li Ying/Xinhua via Getty Images

Health officials in the United Kingdom, Italy and Germany announced on Saturday that they've detected the first known cases of the new COVID-19 Omicron variant.

Why it matters: The discoveries come as the world scrambles to respond to concerns over the new variant, discovered in South Africa earlier this week.

Black Friday shopping up from 2020 but trails pre-pandemic levels

Shoppers carry their purchases during Black Friday shopping at Fashion Outlets of Chicago in Rosemont of Greater Chicago Area, Illinois on Nov. 26, 2021. Photo: Joel Lerner/Xinhua via Getty Images

More shoppers flocked to stores on Black Friday this year compared to last, but online shopping was lower than expected, according to data from Friday.

Driving the news: Online shopping was on the lower end of what was expected, largely because people had been ringing up their shopping carts earlier in the year in an effort to skirt potential supply chain issues, according to the Adobe Digital Economy Index.

Trump can't quit mainstream media

Bob Woodward and Robert Costa are interviewed by Chuck Todd on "Meet the Press" in September. Photo: William B. Plowman/NBC via Getty Images

Bob Woodward and Robert Costa issued a rebuttal on Friday to a statement by former President Donald Trump that misrepresented their reporting — and once again showed the 45th president's thin skin about mainstream media.

Driving the news: "Former President Trump said ... our book, 'Peril,' implied that he was planning to go to war with China," the statement begins. "[W]e report that Chairman of Joint Chiefs Mark Milley 'believed that Trump did not want a war' before or after the 2020 election."