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Photo: Susan Walsh / AP

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions sent a memo to heads of federal agencies and attorneys reversing "a federal government policy that said transgender workers were protected from discrimination," according to BuzzFeed News, which obtained the memo.

  • Sessions wrote: "Title VII does not prohibit discrimination based on gender identity per se." He added that nothing in the memo "should be construed to condone mistreatment on the basis of gender identity."
  • Devin O'Malley, Department of Justice spokesman, said in a statement to Axios: "The Department of Justice cannot expand the law beyond what Congress has provided...the last administration abandoned that fundamental principle.
  • DNC spokesman Joel Kasnetz responded: "This week, Jeff Sessions escalated the Trump administration's war on LGBTQ people...Donald Trump, Mike Pence, and Jeff Sessions have revealed their real goal – turn the clock back to a time when life was even more difficult for LGBTQ people, transgender individuals in particular."

Why it matters: Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act "prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex," per BuzzFeed, but "does not address LGBT rights directly." Former Attorney General Eric Holder applied it to gender identity, but Sessions said it "only covers discrimination between 'men and women,'" BuzzFeed reports.

Go deeper

Tech scrambles to derail inauguration threats

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Tech companies are sharing more information with law enforcement in a frantic effort to prevent violence around the inauguration, after the government was caught flat-footed by the Capitol siege.

Between the lines: Tech knows it will be held accountable for any further violence that turns out to have been planned online if it doesn't act to stop it.

Dave Lawler, author of World
5 hours ago - World

Uganda's election: Museveni declared winner, Wine claims fraud

Wine rejected the official results of the election. Photo: Sumy Sadruni/AFP via Getty

Yoweri Museveni was declared the winner of a sixth presidential term on Saturday, with official results giving him 59% to 35% for Bobi Wine, the singer-turned-opposition leader.

Why it matters: This announcement was predictable, as the election was neither free nor fair and Museveni had no intention of surrendering power after 35 years. But Wine — who posed a strong challenged to Museveni, particularly in urban areas, and was beaten and arrested during the campaign — has said he will present evidence of fraud. The big question is whether he will mobilize mass resistance in the streets.

Off the Rails

Episode 1: A premeditated lie lit the fire

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/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. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 1: Trump’s refusal to believe the election results was premeditated. He had heard about the “red mirage” — the likelihood that early vote counts would tip more Republican than the final tallies — and he decided to exploit it.

"Jared, you call the Murdochs! Jason, you call Sammon and Hemmer!”