November 7, 2020

Within minutes of the major networks calling the presidential election for Joe Biden, Americans around the country took to the streets to celebrate. The festivities were particularly robust in New York City, the outgoing president's hometown. Watch below. Jeva Lange

3:01 p.m.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Green Bay Backers will square off for the NFC title on Sunday, followed by the AFC championship between the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs. Both games are expected to be competitive, with all four teams viewed as legitimate contenders. The winners will meet in two weeks for Super Bowl LV. For neutral fans, here's a breakdown of why all four potential Super Bowl matchups are intriguing.

Green Bay Packers vs. Kansas City Chiefs — This would pit two of the NFL's best quarterbacks — Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes — against each other, and it's likely a dream matchup for State Farm's advertising team, but for it'd be a treasure for anyone interested in sports history, as well. The Packers beat the Chiefs in the first ever Super Bowl in 1967.

Green Bay Packers vs. Buffalo Bills — Buffalo and Green Bay, both mid-sized cities in the Great Lakes region, are home to two of the most ardently loyal, passionate fan bases in the NFL. The enthusiasm would be infectious.

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — There aren't a lot connection between these two franchises, but who wouldn't want to watch a rematch between Mahomes and Tom Brady, after the latter eked out a win over the Chiefs in the AFC championship game two seasons ago when he was still with the New England Patriots.

Buffalo Bills vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — The Bills and Brady go way back, having played twice per year during his Patriots days, and it generally hasn't been pretty for Buffalo. The future Hall of Famer is 32-3 against his longtime rival. On the one hand, that could set it up a storybook ending for the Bills and their fans, who may have a chance to capture their first ever Super Bowl victory by getting revenge on their nemesis. On the other hand, Bills fans may prefer to just avoid Brady altogether. Tim O'Donnell

2:19 p.m.

Dr. Deborah Birx, who served as the White House coronavirus response coordinator while former President Donald Trump was still in office, opened up about her time working with the Trump administration during an exclusive interview with CBS News' Margaret Brennan on Sunday.

Birx was often criticized for not pushing back enough on Trump's comments about the pandemic, and while she suggested her reactions could be misinterpreted — like the time Trump asked her about whether COVID-19 could be treated with a bleach injection — she did anticipate the gig would likely be the end of her federal career. "You can't go into something that that's polarized and not believe you won't be tainted by that experience," she told Brennan, adding that she'll "need to retire" within the next few weeks.

Birx did say she wished she had been "been more publicly outspoken" about certain things like testing, especially because she's been known to "push the envelope" in private. But she suggested that, ultimately, the culture of the White House proved too unfamiliar. Tim O'Donnell

1:33 p.m.

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) didn't provide a clear hint about how he'll likely vote as a juror in former President Donald Trump's upcoming Senate impeachment trial, telling CNN's Dana Bash on Sunday's edition of State of the Union that he'll wait to see the facts and evidence. But he did at least seem open to the possibility of voting to convict, which would be familiar territory for the senator. Romney, of course, was the lone Republican senator to do so in Trump's first impeachment trial, joining his Democratic colleagues on one article.

First, Romney explained that, unlike some of his Republican colleagues, he believes a post-presidency impeachment trial is constitutional and that the House was well within grounds to impeach Trump after the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot. If inciting an insurrection isn't an impeachable offense, Romney asked, then what is?

Bash also asked Romney about his fellow Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), who played significant roles in propping up Trump's unfounded claims that the presidential election was stolen from him by launching Electoral College challenges, which were interrupted by the Capitol siege. Romney didn't appear to be in favor of some form of formal punishment for Cruz and Hawley, but said he thinks history and voters will provide judgment. Tim O'Donnell

Tim O'Donnell

1:06 p.m.

Federal law enforcement officials informed members of Congress last week that as many as 5,000 National Guard troops must remain in Washington, D.C., through mid-March, four people familiar with the matter told Politico. The troops who stay behind will be protecting the Capitol amid what was described as "impeachment security concerns."

The driving force behind the decision is seemingly the possibility of mass demonstrations — perhaps similar to the deadly riot at the Capitol on Jan. 6 — in support of former President Donald Trump coinciding with Trump's Senate impeachment trial, which is set to begin the week of Feb. 8.

While a majority of the troops who stick around will do so on a voluntary basis, the length is still far longer than they initially expected when they arrived in the city on Jan. 6. Some Guardsmen — who have civilian jobs and are not full-time soldiers — appear put off by the lack of clarity surrounding the operation (they say they haven't been told of any specific threats) and are wondering why they have to endure combat-like conditions in the nation's capital, per Politico. "There is no defined question, or mission statement," one member told Politico. "This is very unusual for any military mission. We are usually given a situation, with defined mission perimeters, and at least a tentative plan on how to execute those objectives." Read more at Politico. Tim O'Donnell

11:45 a.m.

President Biden is enjoying a honeymoon period, a new ABC News/Ipsos poll released Sunday suggests.

Just a few days after assuming office, Biden has received high marks for his response to the coronavirus pandemic and his handling of the presidential transition. More than half of those polled also think he has a chance to unify the country, although only 22 percent have a "great deal" of confidence he'll be able to pull that feat off.

Republicans don't seem pleased with some of the executive orders Biden has issued so far, including his reversal of a travel ban on several Muslim-majority nations and the termination of the national emergency declaration at the southern border, but GOP voters are, relatively speaking, somewhat amenable to his coronavirus response. The poll shows 40 percent of Republicans approve of Biden's pandemic leadership. For context, former President Donald Trump's highest approval rating (in regards to his COVID-19 response) among Democrats in the poll was 30 percent, and that was all the way back in mid-March of 2020.

The friendly numbers may give Biden some breathing room, ABC News notes, but early tenure bliss generally doesn't last forever.

This ABC News/Ipsos poll was conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs' KnowledgePanel between Jan. 22 to 23, 2021among a random national sample of 504 adults. The margin of error is 5 percentage points. Read more at ABC News. Tim O'Donnell

11:14 a.m.

Former President Donald Trump, citing unfounded claims of widespread voter fraud, pushed the Justice Department to ask the Supreme Court to invalidate President Biden's electoral victory, people familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal. "He wanted us, the United States, to sue one or more states directly in the Supreme Court," a former administration official told the Journal. "The pressure got really intense."

Ultimately, several Justice Department officials, including former Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen and former Attorney General William Barr, reportedly refused to file a case with the high court because there was no legal basis to challenge the election outcome and the federal government "had no legal interest" in whether Trump or Biden won the presidency. White House Counsel Pat Cipollone also reportedly opposed the idea.

The strategy appears to have preceded Trump considering ousting Rosen and replacing him with Jeffrey Clark, an ally within the Justice Department, as reported by The New York Times, which later revealed that it was Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) who made Trump aware of Clark's apparent willingness to back his conspiracy theories. Clark has denied being involved with a plan to get rid of Rosen. Read more at The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. Tim O'Donnell

8:09 a.m.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin promised several senators in his confirmation hearing that he would prioritize sexual assault prevention within the military in his new role, and it appears he's attempting to follow through quickly.

Per The Associated Press, Austin issued his first directive as Pentagon chief Saturday night, giving his senior leaders two weeks to gather reports on sexual assault prevention programs in the military and send him assessments of what has worked and what hasn't. "This is a leadership issue," he reportedly wrote in a two-page memo. "We will lead."

The move comes a day after he was confirmed by the Senate. The retired four-star Army general acknowledged in his Senate hearing and in the memo that the military must do a better job of handling a problem that has long existed within its ranks, and he told officials not to be "afraid to get creative" in finding ways to approach the issue.

Reports of sexual assault in the military have steadily increased since 2006, AP notes, including a 13 percent jump in 2018 and a 3 percent jump in 2019 (the data for 2020 is not yet available.) Experts believe sexual assaults remain underreported, though there's some hope that victims have grown more confident in the justice system. Read more at The Associated Press. Tim O'Donnell

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