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Lewis in a campagin video from his election bid in 2016. Photo: jasonformn.com

CNN has unearthed audio of Minnesota Republican Jason Lewis making misogynistic comments on a radio show he hosted from 2009 to 2014, in which he lamented that men could no longer call women "sluts," and mused about women's inability to make rational voting decisions.

Why it matters: At a time when men in power across all industries are being held accountable for disparaging or disrespecting women, repercussions for Lewis are unclear. He's up for reelection in the fall, and his seat is due to be a close one. He narrowly won the seat in 2016 by two points, and it's currently listed as a "toss up" in November by Real Clear Politics.

The reactions:

  • Lewis said he stands by his statement. Speaking on a local Minnesota radio show, he argued that he "was paid to be provocative ... There's a difference between a politician and a pundit. That's why going back six years, eight years, 10 years, 15 years, misses the point. There's a different role."
  • Democratic candidate Angie Craig, who lost to Lewis in 2016 and is running against him again this fall, tweeted that the quotes are “deeply disappointing.”
  • The DCCC emailed the audio out to its supporters shortly after its release, hoping to incite support for Craig.
  • Emily’s List stated that “time and again, Jason Lewis has shown us just how little he respects or understands women."

Be smart: These comments were circulated and used against Lewis in his initial bid two years ago, but the landscape has changed significantly since then. What happens next could serve as a test of how far-reaching the #MeToo movement may shape out to be, especially for political figures.

Go deeper: Both parties brace for more sex scandals

Go deeper

Trump grants flurry of last-minute pardons

Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty

President Trump issued 73 pardons and commuted the sentences of 70 individuals early Wednesday, 11 hours from leaving office.

Why it matters: It's a last-minute gift to some of the president's loyalists and an evident use of executive power with only hours left of his presidency. Axios reported in December that Trump planned to grant pardons to "every person who ever talked to me."

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Trump revokes ethics order barring former aides from lobbying

Photo: Spencer Platt via Getty

Shortly after pardoning members of Congress and lobbyists convicted on corruption charges, President Trump revoked an executive order barring former officials from lobbying for five years after leaving his administration.

Why it matters: The order, which was signed eight days after he took office, was an attempt to fulfill his campaign promise to "drain the swamp."

  • But with less than 12 hours left in office, Trump has now removed those limitations on his own aides.

Trump pardons former GOP fundraiser Elliott Broidy

President Trump has pardoned Elliott Broidy, a former top Republican fundraiser who pleaded guilty late last year to conspiring to violate foreign lobbying laws as part of a campaign to sway the administration on behalf of Chinese and Malaysian interests.

Why it matters: Broidy was a deputy finance chair for the Republican National Committee early in Trump’s presidency, and attempted to leverage his influence in the Trump administration on behalf of his clients. The president's decision to pardon Broidy represents one last favor for a prominent political ally.