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Conservative radio host and former Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.), who's launching a primary challenge to President Trump in 2020, told MSNBC's "Deadline: White House" Monday that he isn't a racist, but he's said "racist things."

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

The big picture: Walsh joins former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld in challenging Trump for the GOP ticket.

  • The Tea Party Republican differs from the more traditional Weld in that he's created a brand for himself as a conservative activist unafraid to ruffle feathers. He's been accused of making racist statements — some of which he addressed on MSNBC.
  • After the segment aired, Washington Post journalist Aaron Blake asked Walsh to clarify his comments on the show about his racist statements.
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

The bottom line: As Walsh sets out to make his case in interviews like this for why he should be chosen over Trump, the president has a near-90% approval rating within the Republican Party — making it incredibly difficult for any primary challenger to replace him as the GOP nominee.

Go deeper: Trump challenger Joe Walsh has an inflammatory record of his own

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - World

Biden reviews U.S. arms deals with Saudi Arabia and UAE

Trump struck several large arms deals with Mohammed bin Salman (L) and Saudi Arabia. Photo: Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images

The Biden administration has put on hold two big arms deals with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates which were approved in the final weeks of the Trump administration, a State Department official told Axios.

Why it matters: The sales of F-35 jets and attack drones to the UAE and a large supply of munitions to Saudi Arabia will be paused pending a review. That signals a major policy shift from the Trump era, and may herald sharp tensions with both Gulf countries.

Trump supporter found with pipe bombs accused of plot to attack Democrats

Five improvised explosive devices that the FBI says "were fully operational and could cause great bodily harm or injury if handled improperly." Photo: FBI/Justice Department

The FBI believes California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) and the Bay Area headquarters of Twitter and Facebook were targets of a man facing federal explosives charges, according to a criminal complaint.

Driving the news: Prosecutors charged Ian Benjamin Rogers after finding weapons including five pipe bombs, 49 guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition following a Jan. 15 search of his Napa County home and auto repair business. His alleged goal was to ensure former President Trump remained in office.

7 hours ago - Health

Fauci: COVID vaccine rollout needs to prioritize people of color

Anthony Fauci. Photo: Alex Wong via Getty Images

Infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci highlighted the need to address racial disparities in the COVID-19 vaccination process, per an interview with The New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday.

What he’s saying: "I think that's the one thing we really got to be careful of. We don't want in the beginning ... most of the people who are getting it are otherwise, well, middle-class white people."