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Acting Homeland Security chief says he has no authority to send agents to polling stations

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf told CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday that — despite President Trump's claims to the contrary — his department has no authority to send law enforcement agents to polling stations on Election Day.

Why it matters: Trump told Fox News Friday there would be "sheriffs, and we're going to have law enforcement, and we're going to have, hopefully, U.S. attorneys, and we're going to have everybody, and attorney generals" at polling locations. Experts and secretaries of state have said sending federal law enforcement or any other attempts to intimidate voters would be unlawful.


What he's saying: When asked whether the president has spoken to him about sending officials to polling stations, Wolf replied: "No, absolutely he has not."

  • "That's not what we do at the Department of Homeland Security. ... We have expressed authorities given to us by Congress and this is not one of them, he continued.
  • "This is not a mission for the Department of Homeland Security. ... We don't have any authority to do that at the department."

The big picture: Wolf said that he has not seen any intelligence indicating that foreign powers like Russia, China and Iran are attempting to attack election infrastructure or forge mail-in ballots.

What Biden's emerging Cabinet says about his climate priorities

As of Tuesday morning, we know a lot more about President-elect Joe Biden climate personnel orbit, even as picks for agencies like EPA and DOE are outstanding, so here are a few early conclusions.

Why it matters: They're the highest-level names yet announced who will have a role in what Biden is promising will be a far-reaching climate and energy agenda.

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What to expect out of Janet Yellen as Treasury secretary

A face familiar to Wall Street is back as a central player that this time will need to steer the country out of a deep economic crisis.

Driving the news: President-elect Joe Biden is preparing to nominate former Fed chair Janet Yellen to be Treasury secretary.

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Charles Koch says he "screwed up by being partisan" in political spending

In his first on-camera interview in four years, Charles Koch told "Axios on HBO" he's disillusioned with the results of his network's massive political spending, but is optimistic about what he believes will be a less divisive strategy.

Why it matters: Koch — chairman and CEO of Koch Industries, which Forbes yesterday designated as America's largest private company — has been the left's favorite face of big-spending political action.

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What overwhelmed hospitals look like in the COVID era

Utah doctors are doing what they say is the equivalent of rationing care. Intensive care beds in Minnesota are nearly full. And the country overall continues to break hospitalization records — all as millions of Americans travel to spend Thanksgiving with friends and family.

Why it matters: America's health care workers are exhausted, and the sickest coronavirus patients aren't receiving the kind of care that could make the difference between living and dying.

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Southwest CEO: "You should fly" despite CDC warnings against travel during coronavirus

The official guidance of the CDC says that "postponing travel and staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others this year."

  • Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly, however, took the opposing position when he was interviewed by "Axios on HBO." "You should fly," he told me, adding that "we need to have as much commerce and business and movement as is safe to do."
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DCCC chair candidate: Democrats need change "overnight" after surprise losses in House races

Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-Calif.), who's running for chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, told "Axios on HBO" that the DCCC needs to change "overnight" and his colleagues need to be more "culturally competent" if they want to be successful in the next election.

Why it matters: House Democrats are confronting what went wrong and what their party needs to change after they failed to expand their House majority and President Trump expanded his support among Latino voters.

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Apple's new Mac chip turns heads and promises bigger changes

For now, Apple's new M1 chip — fast, power-smart, and literally cool — is just a major hardware upgrade that's winning rave reviews.

But down the road, the M1 will pave the way for new Apple devices that could bridge the divide between Mac and iPhone/iPad computing and transform the devices we use every day.

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Space is not just for billionaires

The space industry is outgrowing the billionaires who made it famous.

Why it matters: Billionaires Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson helped put the space industry on the map, but today, a significant amount of growth seen in the industry is propelled by smaller companies.

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