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Democratic senators Dick Durbin, Cory Booker and Kamala Harris. Photo: Getty Images

Seven Democratic senators admonished the Trump administration in a letter on Thursday to Attorney General William Barr, arguing that it's minimizing the growing white nationalist terrorism threat in the U.S. and hasn't done enough to prevent attacks.

Details: The letter, which is also signed by 2020 presidential candidates Sens. Kamala Harris, Cory Booker and Amy Klobuchar, comes after Justice Department and FBI officials told Senate Judiciary Committee staff last week that the administration "has shifted its approach to tracking domestic terrorism incidents to obfuscate the white supremacist threat," the senators wrote.

  • For the past decade, the FBI has been using a separate category to track white supremacist incidents. But the senators said staffers were told that the administration created a new category for "racially-motivated violent extremism." They wrote: This approach "inappropriately combines incidents involving white supremacists and so-called 'black identity extremists.'"
"Given the large number of white supremacist attacks, we are deeply concerned that this reclassification downplays the significance of the white supremacist threat. The inherent problem with this approach was demonstrated by the fact that the briefers provided statistics on racially motivated violent extremism ... but could not say how many involved white supremacist violence, other than to acknowledge they were 'a majority' of the incidents. If we do not understand the scope of the problem, we cannot effectively address it."
— The letter reads

Barr has until Mary 23 to specify what actions are being taken by DOJ and the FBI to respond to the threat of white supremacist violence and whether he would rescind the change and return to the long-standing practice of tracking white supremacist violence. The lawmakers also asked Barr if he agrees with Trump's recent remark that white nationalists are "a small group of people."

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Biden will reverse Trump's attempt to lift COVID related travel restrictions

Photo: Tasos Katopodis via Getty

The incoming Biden administration will reverse President Trump's last-minute order to lift COVID-19 related travel restrictions, Jen Psaki, the incoming White House press secretary, tweeted.

Why it matters: President Trump ordered entry bans lifted for travelers from the U.K., Ireland, Brazil and much of Europe to go into effect Jan. 26, but the Biden administration will "strengthen public health measures around international travel in order to further mitigate the spread of COVID-19," Jen Psaki said. Biden will be inaugurated on Wednesday, Jan. 20 and Trump will no longer be president by the time the order is set to go into effect.

Dominion sends cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell

Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Dominion Voting Systems on Monday sent a cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell over his spread of misinformation related to the 2020 election.

Why it matters: Trump and several of his allies have pushed false conspiracy theories about the company, leading Dominion to take legal action. It's suing pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell for defamation and $1.3 billion in damages, and a Dominion employee has sued Trump himself, OANN and Newsmax.

Off the Rails

Episode 5: The secret CIA plan

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer, Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 5: Trump vs. Gina — The president becomes increasingly rash and devises a plan to tamper with the nation's intelligence command.

In his final weeks in office, after losing the election to Joe Biden, President Donald Trump embarked on a vengeful exit strategy that included a hasty and ill-thought-out plan to jam up CIA Director Gina Haspel by firing her top deputy and replacing him with a protege of Republican Congressman Devin Nunes.