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Georgia's Secretary of State: It's time for Trump to accept that Biden won Georgia

Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, tells Axios it's time for President Donald Trump and the state GOP to accept that Joe Biden won Georgia and focus on the two Senate runoffs that will determine control of the Senate.

What they're saying: “The Republican Party's sole job is to win campaigns — and that's to raise money and turn out voters," Raffensperger told Axios in an interview on Sunday. "And when they don't get it done, they look for scapegoats.”

  • “They didn't get it done,” he said. “And they better get it done" with the runoffs. "I say that as Republican.”

Georgia's Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, both Republicans, failed to cross 50% in their respective general election contests, forcing runoffs under state law that will be held Jan. 5, 2021.

  • Raffensperger says he'll vote for Loeffler and Perdue, even though they've both been part of Trump's pressure campaign to get him to resign for failing to find enough supposedly illegal votes to reverse Biden's win.
  • Raffensperger said he's had to increase security around his own movements after receiving death threats from people unhappy that Trump didn't win Georgia.

Driving the news: Georgia will run ballots through voting machines one more time at the Trump campaign's insistence, with the goal of completing the final count by Friday — after conducting a hand recount and on Friday certifying Biden's win by some 12,000 votes.

The big picture: Nearly three weeks after the election and with Biden winning 306 votes in the Electoral College, some 79% of Trump voters think that the election was “stolen” according to an online, national survey conducted by Seven Letter Insight of 1500 respondents.

  • 70% of all voters accept the result, but only 38% of Trump voters do, according to the survey.

Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York coronavirus restrictions

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled late Wednesday that restrictions imposed on New York places of worship by Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) during the coronavirus pandemic violated the First Amendment, per Bloomberg.

Why it matters: The decision in a 5-4 vote heralds one of the first significant actions by the new President Trump-appointed conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who cast the deciding vote in favor of the Catholic Church and Orthodox Jewish synagogues.

Editor's note: This a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.

Trump agency head who often skips mask tests positive for coronavirus

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Trump pardons Michael Flynn

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Why it matters: It is the first of multiple pardons expected in the coming weeks, as Axios scooped last night.

This is a breaking story and will be updated with more details.

The emerging cybersecurity headaches awaiting Biden

The incoming administration will face a slew of cybersecurity-related challenges, as Joe Biden takes office under a very different environment than existed when he was last in the White House as vice president.

The big picture: President-elect Biden's top cybersecurity and national security advisers will have to wrestle with the ascendancy of new adversaries and cyberpowers, as well as figure out whether to continue the more aggressive stance the Trump administration has taken in cyberspace.

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Past friction between Biden and Erdoğan foreshadows future tensions

Ankara — The incoming Biden administration's foreign policy priorities and worldview will collide with those of the Turkish government on several issues.

Why it matters: The U.S. needs its NATO ally Turkey for its efforts to contain Russia, counter Iran and deal with other crises in the Middle East. But relations between Biden and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan are expected to be strained.

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Tesla's wild rise and European plan

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Tesla's market capitalization blew past $500 billion for the first time Tuesday.

Why it matters: It's just a number, but kind of a wild one. Consider, via CNN: "Tesla is now worth more than the combined market value of most of the world's major automakers: Toyota, Volkswagen, GM, Ford, Fiat Chrysler and its merger partner PSA Group."

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