Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Mary Elizabeth Taylor, right, watches Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley swear in Judge Neil Gorsuch in March 2017. Photo: Stephen Crowley-Pool/Getty Images

Mary Elizabeth Taylor, the first black woman to serve as assistant secretary of state for legislative affairs, resigned from the State Department on Thursday in apparent protest of President Trump's response to weeks of nationwide unrest over the killing of George Floyd, the Washington Post reports.

What she's saying: “Moments of upheaval can change you, shift the trajectory of your life, and mold your character. The President’s comments and actions surrounding racial injustice and Black Americans cut sharply against my core values and convictions,” Taylor wrote in a resignation letter obtained by the Post.

  • “I must follow the dictates of my conscience and resign as Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs," Taylor said in her letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
  • “I am deeply grateful to you, Mr. Secretary, for empowering me to lead this team and strategically advise you over these last two years. You have shown grace and respect in listening to my opinions, and your remarkable leadership have made me a better leader and team member. I appreciate that you understand my strong loyalty to my personal convictions and values, particularly in light of recent events.”

Between the lines: 54% of Americans — and 22% of Republicans — said in a recent poll by the AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research that Trump has made things worse after the killing of George Floyd and following weeks of protest.

Go deeper: Trump claims "nobody had ever heard" of Juneteenth and that he made it "very famous"

Go deeper

Sep 24, 2020 - Politics & Policy

National security officials endorse Biden

Photo: Jim Watson/Getty Images

A group of 489 former national security leaders, including Paul Selva, a retired four-star general and the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under Trump, have endorsed Joe Biden for president.

The big picture: Among the names signing Thursday’s letter: Sean O'Keefe, a former Navy secretary for President George H.W. Bush; Richard Armitage, deputy secretary of state for President George W. Bush; and Admiral Steve Abbot (ret.) who also worked in the last Bush White House.

Collins helps contractor before pro-Susan PAC gets donation

Sen. Susan Collins during her reelection campaign. Photo: Scott Eisen/Getty Images

A PAC backing Sen. Susan Collins in her high-stakes reelection campaign received $150,000 from an entity linked to the wife of a defense contractor whose firm Collins helped land a federal contract, new public records show.

Why it matters: The executive, Martin Kao of Honolulu, leaned heavily on his political connections to boost his business, federal prosecutors say in an ongoing criminal case against him. The donation linked to Kao was veiled until last week.

How cutting GOP corporate cash could backfire

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Companies pulling back on political donations, particularly to members of Congress who voted against certifying President Biden's election win, could inadvertently push Republicans to embrace their party's rightward fringe.

Why it matters: Scores of corporate PACs have paused, scaled back or entirely abandoned their political giving programs. While designed to distance those companies from events that coincided with this month's deadly siege on the U.S. Capitol, research suggests the moves could actually empower the far-right.