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Charlie Kirk, founder and executive director of Turning Point USA, speaks at the NRA-ILA Leadership Forum on May 8, 2018. Photo: Justin Sullivan via Getty Images

Charlie Kirk is the 24-year-old founder of Turning Point USA, a conservative nonprofit whose 130,000 members claim to be "culture warriors" in the fight "to save Western civilization" from liberals, writes Adam Rubenstein for The Weekly Standard.

Why it matters: With more than 650,000 Twitter followers and the sworn fealty of some of Washington's most prominent conservatives, Kirk is a provocative firebrand whose proclaimed goal of "owning the libs" all-too-perfectly captures the present state of Donald Trump's base. Kirk's messaging and networking in conservative circles has been so effective, in fact, that he claims TPUSA will have raised $15 million by the end of 2018.

The backdrop: Kirk founded TPUSA in 2012, opting not to attend Baylor University and instead use his "rhetorical gifts" to launch a conservative, youth-focused organization with the financial backing of investor Foster Friess and Bruce Rauner, now the Republican governor of Illinois.

  • TPUSA quickly grew to more than 300 chapters at colleges across the country, thanks in part to Kirk's cabinet of deep-pocketed advisers, writes Rubenstein.
  • The group brings speakers to campuses, encourages conservative students to run for office, and sells memorabilia with slogans like, "Taxation Is Theft," "Facts Don’t Care About Your Feelings," and "You Are Entitled to Nothing."
  • Kirk claims to have spent around 90 days straight campaigning with Donald Trump Jr. in the run-up to the 2016 election, with his perceived closeness to the Trump family providing another significant boost to his brand. "If there’s one person this president admires, it’s Charlie Kirk," said House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

TPUSA hosts a handful of highly-attended events, with the most recent being a four-day High School Leadership Summit that began on July 23.

  • Past speakers and guests have included Trump Jr., Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Fox News' Jeannine Pirro and Sebastian Gorka, "Mr. Brexit" Nigel Farage, and NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch.
  • Attorney General Jeff Sessions made headlines at the most recent TPUSA summit when the crowd he was addressing erupted in a "Lock her up" chant. "Few things rouse the group as much as a Hillary punch line," Rubenstein writes.

The big picture: Critics have called Kirk a provocateur — pointing to misleading and outright false tweets that drum up outrage like, "83%, 10 out of 12, of all rapes in Denmark are committed by migrants or their descendants." But the reality is that Kirk's influence in Trumpworld is unbridled, and as the 24-year-old leader of a growing movement of right-wing, "own the libs"-driven populism, he won't be disappearing anytime soon.

Go deeper

Broncos and 49ers the latest NFL teams impacted by coronavirus crisis

From left, Denver Broncos quarterbacks Drew Lock, Brett Rypien and Jeff Driskel during an August training session at UCHealth Training Center in Englewood, Colorado. Photo: Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown the NFL season into chaos, with the Denver Broncos' quarterbacks sidelined, the San Francisco 49ers left without a home or practice ground and much of the Baltimore Ravens team unavailable, per AP.

Driving the news: The Broncos confirmed in a statement Saturday night that quarterbacks Drew Lock, Brett Rypien and Blake Bortles were identified as "high-risk COVID-19 close contacts" and will follow the NFL's mandatory five-day quarantine, making them ineligible for Sunday's game against New Orleans.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: McConnell temporarily halts in-person lunches for GOP caucus.
  3. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in DecemberAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  4. Education: U.S. public school enrollment drops as pandemic persists.
  5. Cities: Surge in cases forces San Francisco to impose curfew — Los Angeles County issues stay-at-home order, limits gatherings.
  6. Sports: NFL bans in-person team activities Monday, Tuesday due to COVID-19 surge — NBA announces new coronavirus protocols.
  7. World: London police arrest more than 150 during anti-lockdown protests — Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.

Tony Hsieh, longtime Zappos CEO, dies at 46

Tony Hsieh. Photo: FilmMagic/FilmMagic

Tony Hsieh, the longtime ex-chief executive of Zappos, died on Friday after being injured in a house fire, his lawyer told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. He was 46.

The big picture: Hsieh was known for his unique approach to management, and following the 2008 recession his ongoing investment and efforts to revitalize the downtown Las Vegas area.