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Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

In a court filing released Thursday, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross changed his reasoning of how he came to add a citizenship question to the 2020 U.S. census questionnaire, now saying former chief strategist Steve Bannon was a part of the discussion, contradicting his prior accounts.

Why it matters: Ross originally said the citizenship questions was to help the Department of Justice enforce the Voting Rights Act. Critics say adding the question would undercount the number of immigrants in the U.S., as people may be afraid to answer it honestly. Population shifts tracked by the census have major ramifications in redistricting boundaries for House districts.

In the filing, per The New York Times, Bannon told Ross to contact Kris Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state that Trump hired to investigate unsubstantiated claims that "millions of illegal immigrants cast ballots for Hillary Clinton in 2016."

The latest: Democrats are now calling out Ross, arguing that he broke the law by lying to Congress back in March about his reasoning for including the question in the census.

Go deeper

Democrat Mark Kelly sworn in to U.S. Senate

Photo: Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images

Astronaut Mark Kelly (D) was sworn in to the U.S. Senate on Wednesday after defeating incumbent Sen. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) last month for the seat once held by the late Sen. John McCain.

Why it matters: Kelly's swearing-in by Vice President Mike Pence narrows the Republican majority and moves the Senate balance to 52-48.

Senate Armed Services chair dismisses Trump threat to veto defense bill

Sen. Jim Inhofe. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told reporters Wednesday that he plans to move ahead with a crucial defense-spending bill without provisions that would eliminate tech industry protections, defying a veto threat from President Trump.

Why it matters: Inhofe's public rebuke signals that the Senate could have enough Republican backing to override a potential veto from Trump, who has demanded that the $740 billion National Defense Authorization Act repeal Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

Scoop: Uber in talks to sell air taxi business to Joby

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Uber is in advanced talks to sell its Uber Elevate unit to Joby Aviation, Axios has learned from multiple sources. A deal could be announced later this month.

Between the lines: Uber Elevate was formed to develop a network of self-driving air taxis, but to date has been most notable for its annual conference devoted to the nascent industry.