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Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

Senate Democrats held a press conference today, and the focus was on the two biggest issues currently plaguing the Trump White House: the firing of James Comey and Trump's reported disclosure of classified material to Russian officials in the Oval Office.

The two big requests: A special prosecutor and cooperation from Republican lawmakers to put pressure on Trump regarding Russia.

Schumer sums it up: "This is not normal. This is not how a White House should operate."

Other statements from Dems:

  • Sen. Dick Durbin: "November 8, 2016 is a day that will live in cyber infamy."
  • Sen. Al Franken: We should understand — the president should know — that Russia in Syria is not fighting ISIS, they are fighting for Assad."
  • Sen. Richard Blumenthal: "The dangerous and reckless disclosure of classified info by the president of the United States to one of our major adversaries shows how we are approaching a constitutional precipice."
  • Sen. Brian Schatz: "It's time to do something about it and let today be the day for Republican courage — because it wasn't yesterday and we can't wait until tomorrow."
  • Sen. Ed Markey: "It is time for the Republican Party to put country over party — and remember that their country is the United States of America and not Russia."
  • Sen. Tammy Duckworth: "Russia is not America's friend and the president should know that highly classified material is not something that you use to impress people."

Go deeper

Birx: Trump White House could have reduced COVID deaths by 30 to 40%

Deborah Birx, then-coronavirus response coordinator, speaks during a news conference in the White House last November. Photo: Chris Kleponis/CNP/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Deborah Birx, the White House COVID-19 response coordinator under former President Trump, told a House subcommittee this month that the Trump administration could have prevented tens of thousands of deaths during the early stages of the pandemic.

Driving the news: "I believe if we had fully implemented the mask mandates, the reduction in indoor dining ... and we had increased testing, that we probably could have decreased fatalities into the 30% less to 40% less range," Birx said in closed-door testimony to the Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, according to excerpts provided by the panel.

Study: Fear of debt keeps Latinos out of college

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Fear of never being able to pay off school loans is keeping many young Latinos in the U.S. from going to college or completing a degree, according to a report published in September.

State of play: Latinos tend to have more difficulty repaying school debt than white student borrowers, according to Federal Reserve data, at the same time that they need more loans in order to afford tuition.

3 hours ago - World

Scoop: Biden administration objects to Israeli settlements plan

Israeli PM Naftali Bennett (L) meets with Secretary of State Tony Blinken. Photo: Olivier Douliery/Pool/AFP via Getty

The Biden administration has privately protested to the Israeli government over its plan to approve the planning and construction of more than 3,000 new housing units in the Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, sources briefed on the issue tell me.

Why it matters: The approvals for new homes in the settlements will be the first since President Biden assumed office, and come after Biden and his top aides personally pressed Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett to restrain settlement activity and decrease the number of new housing units.