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Reid Hoffman. Photo: Kimberly White/Getty Images for New York Times

Venture capitalist and LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman apologized Thursday in an exclusive statement to Axios for his role in Jeffrey Epstein's societal rehabilitation after his sex crimes conviction

Why it matters: We've spent lots of time castigating Leon Black for his continued relationship with Epstein, but have neglected to mention how Hoffman also played a role in Epstein's attempts to rehab his image.

  • For example, Hoffman invited Epstein to a high-powered Silicon Valley dinner in 2015, where other guests included Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, and Peter Thiel.

What he said: "I helped to repair his reputation and perpetuate injustice. For this, I am deeply regretful."

The big picture: Hoffman also drove another bus over former MIT Media Lab boss Joi Ito, saying that Ito had assured him that Epstein had cleared MIT's vetting process. Even if so, it's unclear why that would have outweighed Epstein's guilty plea from years earlier.

Go deeper: MIT and Jeffrey Epstein's billionaire enablers

Go deeper

The Mischief Makers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Several Republican and Democratic lawmakers are emerging as troublemakers within their parties and political thorns for their leadership.

Why it matters: We're calling this group "The Mischief Makers" — members who threaten to upend party unity — the theme eclipsing Washington at the moment — and potentially jeopardize the Democrats' or Republicans' position heading into the 2022 midterms.

55 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Obama speechwriter fears Biden unity drive is one-sided

Cody Keenan (right) is shown heading to Marine One in December 2009. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Obama's former speechwriter says he's "preemptively frustrated" with President Biden's effort to find unity with Republicans.

What they're saying: Cody Keenan told Axios that Biden's messaging team has "struck all the right chords," but at some point "they're gonna have to answer questions like, 'Why didn't you achieve unity?' when there's an entire political party that's already acting to stop it."

Scoop: Conservative group puts $700k behind Hawley

Sen. Josh Hawley explains his objection to certifying the 2020 election results hours after the U.S. Capitol siege. Photo: Congress.gov via Getty Images

A Republican group is raising and spending huge amounts of money defending Sen. Josh Hawley after he was ostracized for early January’s attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Why it matters: The Senate Conservatives Fund is plugging Hawley's ideological bona fides and backfilling lost corporate cash with needed political and financial support, helping inoculate him as he weighs reelection or a possible presidential campaign in 2024.