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Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) claimed without evidence to NBC News Monday that Ukraine favored Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election — comparing the allegation to Russian interference in the same race.

Every elected official in the Ukraine was for Hillary Clinton. Is that very different than the Russians being for Donald Trump?"

Why it matters: Republicans are using a debunked conspiracy theory that Ukraine meddled in the 2016 presidential election to justify President Trump's decision to freeze congressionally approved aid to the country.

  • That freeze is at the center of an ongoing impeachment inquiry against the president.

What they're saying: Burr stated that he doesn't "think there’s any question that elected officials in Ukraine had a favorite in the election."

  • When asked if he would consider that as "meddling," Burr responded: "I mean, you’ll have to define meddling, but that was something that was publicly out there."
  • "It was called meddling when it was just Russia had a preference on who would win. And I'm saying, you can't go any further than that until somebody investigates Ukraine, if you want to find out there was more that went on," Burr said.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Facebook to lift political ad ban imposed after November election

Photo Illustration by Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Facebook will finally allow advertisers to resume running political and social issue ads in the U.S. on Thursday, according to a company update.

The big picture: Facebook and rival Google instituted political ad bans to slow the spread of misinformation and curb confusion around the presidential election and its aftermath.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
30 mins ago - Technology

AI is industrializing

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Artificial intelligence is becoming a true industry, with all the pluses and minuses that entails, according to a sweeping new report.

Why it matters: AI is now in nearly every area of business, with the pandemic pushing even more investment in drug design and medicine. But as the technology matures, challenges around ethics and diversity grow.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

National Guard chief: Pentagon's "unusual" Jan. 6 restrictions led to 3-hour delay

William Walker, commanding general of the D.C. National Guard, testified Wednesday that a three-hour delay in approval for National Guard assistance during the Jan. 6 Capitol attack was exacerbated by "unusual" restrictions on his authorities by Pentagon leadership.

Why it matters: Walker testified that if Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy had not prohibited him in a Jan. 5 memo from using the National Guard's "Quick Reaction Force" without authorization, he would have "immediately" sent troops to the Capitol after receiving a "frantic call" from then-Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund.