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Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) told CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday that "we should listen to the argument" for removing George Washington statues.

Why it matters: Statues of Confederate soldiers and historical figures who were slave owners have been a flashpoint in the protests against racism and police brutality. President Trump has taken to defending the monuments — a stance highlighted by his Mount Rushmore speech on Friday.

What she's saying:

DANA BASH: "Senator, I know that you support change in the name of military bases named after Confederate leaders, but there are leaders like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson who were slave owners. And some people are demanding their monuments come down, too. In your view, where does it end? Should statues, for example, of George Washington come down?"
DUCKWORTH: "Well, let me just say we should start off by having a national dialogue on it at some point. But right now we're in the middle of a global pandemic. And one of our countries that are opposed to us, Russia, has put a bounty on American troops' heads. What really struck me about this speech that the president gave at Mount Rushmore was that he spent more time worried about honoring dead Confederates than he did talking about the lives of our 130,000 Americans who lost their lives to COVID-19, or by warning Russia off of the bounties they're putting on Americans' heads. His priorities are all wrong here. He should be talking about what we're going to do to overcome this pandemic. What are we going to do to push Russia back? Instead, he had no time for that. He spent all his time talking about dead traitors."
BASH: "That may be true, but George Washington, I don't think anybody would call him a traitor and there are moves by some to remove statues of him. Is that a good idea?"
DUCKWORTH: "I think we should listen to everybody. I think we should listen to the argument there, but remember that the president at Mount Rushmore was standing on ground that was stolen from Native Americans who had actually been given that land during a treaty."

Go deeper

Trump on Putin critic Alexei Navalny's poisoning: "We haven't had any proof yet"

Photo: Brendan Smailowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump denied there is any proof that Russia poisoned opposition leader Alexei Navalny at a White House press conference on Friday, saying he would be "very angry if that is the case."

Why it matters: Trump, in his first public comments since Nalvany fell ill during a flight from Siberia to Moscow, said: "I don't know exactly what happened." The German government announced this week that the poisoning was conducted with Novichok, a chemical typically associated with Russian security services.

Scoop: Gina Haspel threatened to resign over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy

CIA Director Gina Haspel. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

CIA Director Gina Haspel threatened to resign in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelation stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency. Only a series of coincidences — and last minute interventions from Vice President Mike Pence and White House counsel Pat Cipollone — stopped it.

Updated 10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution — Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan — Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.

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