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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

$2.3 million was recently stolen from a Wisconsin GOP account meant to aid President Trump's re-election campaign, Republican Party chairman Andrew Hitt told the AP on Thursday.

The big picture: Former Vice President Joe Biden is polling ahead in Wisconsin, which is a vital battle ground state in November's election. Although Trump won Wisconsin in 2016, Biden is currently favored to win the state in FiveThirtyEight's latest forecast.

What they're saying: "There's no doubt RPW is now at a disadvantage with that money being gone," Hitt told the AP, adding that the GOP needs funds to make quick decisions late in the race.

Catch up quick: The state's Republican Party first noticed suspicious activity last Thursday and has contacted the FBI, per AP. The hackers used a "sophisticated phishing attack," the Wisconsin GOP said in a statement.

  • Hackers manipulated invoices from four vendors who were sending direct mail for Trump’s reelection campaign, alongside merchandise like pro-Trump hats.
  • Hitt said that the invoices were altered so that hackers received the money instead of the vendors after the GOP paid up.
  • There is no evidence that the hackers acquired proprietary information, the party said in a statement.

Go deeper

Nov 22, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Inside Republicans' troubled Election Day operations

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

As President Trump unsuccessfully argues fraudulent voter claims, campaign operatives tell Axios the reality is the joint EDO (Election Day operations) by the Trump campaign and Republican National Committee left them feeling largely unprepared to challenge ballots in real time.

Why it matters: With several states moving toward certifying election results this week, the postmortems are beginning as political operatives try to understand what worked, what didn't and how to adjust going forward.

Michigan board certifies Biden's win

Poll workers count absentee ballots in Detroit, Michigan on Nov. 4. Photo: Salwan Georges/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The Michigan Board of State Canvassers certified the state's election results on Monday, making President-elect Joe Biden's win there official and granting him the state's 16 electoral votes.

Why it matters: Republican Party leaders had unsuccessfully appealed to delay the official certification, amid the Trump campaign's failed legal challenges in key swing states.

2 hours ago - Health

AstraZeneca CEO: "We need to do an additional study" on COVID vaccine

Photo: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said on Thursday the company is likely to start a new global trial to measure how effective its coronavirus vaccine is, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: Following Phase 3 trials, Oxford and AstraZeneca said their vaccine was 90% effective in people who got a half dose followed by a full dose, and 62% effective in people who got two full doses.