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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

After working to undermine the legitimacy of the press and the Mueller investigation, President Trump is now targeting the electoral process as insurance against possible Republican losses in too-close-to-call races in Florida and Arizona.

Why it matters: The president is doing more than any top official in memory to cast doubt on the outcomes of elections.

On Arizona, Trump tweeted: "Just out — in Arizona, SIGNATURES DON’T MATCH. Electoral corruption - Call for a new Election? We must protect our Democracy!"

  • The AP reports: "There is zero evidence of anything unusual going on in the Arizona vote-counting — and no elected Republican officials in the state have cried foul."

"What’s going on in Florida is a disgrace," Trump said last week. Both the Senate and the gubernatorial races in Florida are currently undergoing a recount.

  • Trump tweeted that GOP Senate candidate "Rick Scott was up by 50,000+ votes on Election Day, now they 'found' many votes and he is only up 15,000 votes. 'The Broward Effect.' How come they never find Republican votes?"
  • Trump tweeted that Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum "conceded on Election Day and now Broward County has put him 'back into play.' [Incumbent Democratic Senator] Bill Nelson ... back in play!? This is an embarrassment to our Country and to Democracy. ... The WORLD is now watching closely!"
  • On Monday, Trump tweeted that "an honest vote count is no longer possible," and that Florida must go with the Election Night results.
  • Worth noting: Florida accepts overseas and military ballots through Nov. 16 as long as they are postmarked by Nov. 6.

Post-midterms — and ahead of his re-election race and a possible Mueller report — Trump is continuing his effort to degrade and devalue mainstream reporters.

  • Asked last week by CNN reporter Abby Phillip if he wants acting attorney general Matt Whitaker to "rein in Robert Mueller" (a question being discussed pervasively), Trump replied: "What a stupid question that is. What a stupid question. But I watch you a lot. You ask a lot of stupid questions."
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Go deeper

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
4 hours ago - Health

Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden has picked former FDA chief David Kessler to lead Operation Warp Speed, a day after unveiling a nearly $2 trillion pandemic relief plan that includes $400 billion for directly combatting the virus.

Why it matters: Biden's transition team said Kessler has been advising the president-elect since the beginning of the pandemic, and hopes his involvement will help accelerate vaccination, the New York Times reports. Operation Warp Speed's current director, Moncef Slaoui, will stay on as a consultant.

The case of the missing relief money

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A chunk of stimulus payments is missing in action, thanks to a mix up that put as many as 13 million checks into invalid bank accounts.

Why it matters: The IRS (by law) was supposed to get all payments out by Friday. Now the onus could shift to Americans to claim the money on their tax refund — further delaying relief to struggling, lower-income Americans.

The post-Trump GOP, gutted

McConnell (L), McCarthy (R) and Trump. Photo: Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images

Republicans will emerge from the Trump era gutted financially, institutionally and structurally.

The big picture: The losses are stark and substantial.