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Steve Bannon (left) introduces U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore at a rally Tuesday in Fairhope, Ala. Photo: Brynn Anderson / AP

Nine women, on the record, have accused Alabama Republican Roy Moore of sexual misconduct, most when they were teenagers and he was a grown man. Moore's spokesman says the women, who Mitch McConnell unambiguously believes, are criminals.

At a rally in September, one of the few African Americans in the audience asked Moore when America was last "great." He responded: "I think it was great at the time when families were united — even though we had slavery — they cared for one another. ... Our families were strong, our country had a direction."

  • President Trump has endorsed Moore, the Republican National Committee is helping elect him, and most Senate Republicans — while uncomfortable with him — have fallen silent on the allegations.
  • GOP sources tell us if Moore wins, senators are highly unlikely to fight to boot him.
  • A Washington Post poll found that nearly 6 in 10 white women in Alabama are likely to vote for Moore.

Be smart: It's 2017. In America. Really.

Go deeper

OIG: HHS misused millions of dollars intended for public health threats

Vaccine vials. Photo: Punit Paranjpe/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. Office of Special Counsel alerted the White House and Congress on Wednesday of an investigation that found the Department of Health and Human Services misused millions of dollars that were budgeted for vaccine research and public health emergencies for Ebola, Zika and now the COVID-19 pandemic.

Why it matters: The more than 200-page investigation corroborated claims from a whistleblower, showing the agency's violation of the Purpose Statute spanned both the Obama and Trump administrations and paid for unrelated projects like salaries, news subscriptions and the removal of office furniture.

John Kerry: U.S.-China climate cooperation is a "critical standalone issue"

President Biden's special climate envoy John Kerry said Wednesday that the U.S. must deal with China on climate change as a "critical standalone issue," but stressed that Beijing's human rights and trade abuses "will never be traded" for climate cooperation.

Why it matters: The last few years have brought about a bipartisan consensus on the need for the U.S. to confront China's aggression. But as the world's largest greenhouse gas emitter, China will be a vital player if the world is going to come close to reining in emissions on the scale needed to meet the Paris Agreement goals of limiting warming to 2°C above pre-industrial levels.

In cyber espionage, U.S. is both hunted and hunter

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

American outrage over foreign cyber espionage, like Russia's SolarWinds hack, obscures the uncomfortable reality that the U.S. secretly does just the same thing to other countries.

Why it matters: Secrecy is often necessary in cyber spying to protect sources and methods, preserve strategic edges that may stem from purloined information, and prevent diplomatic incidents.