Mar 6, 2017

3 takeaways from today's Spicer gaggle

Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP

Sean Spicer held an off-camera gaggle with reporters (so that picture is clearly not from today), continuing a streak of off-camera press briefings. When asked why no cameras: "I said I might hold fewer on-camera briefings and more off-camera briefings, and I'm following through." Highlights of what we heard:

  • Wiretapping: Spicer refused to name Trump's source on the wiretapping allegations, but acknowledged that Trump is accusing Obama of committing a crime. He said it's appropriate for Congress to investigate the matter, but the White House won't necessarily believe Congress if their investigation finds otherwise; "on a lot of things we don't want to say we're going to accept every single thing they do."
  • Comey: Trump has total confidence in his FBI director even following reports that Comey wanted DOJ to say there was no evidence to back up Trump's wire-tapping claims.
  • Travel ban: "I think we kind of lost the element of surprise back when the court stopped [the ban]" said Spicer, explaining the now 10-day implementation period. He reiterated that the principles of the new order are the same as the initial one, emphasizing that the first order was constitutional. He also noted that the administration can add countries to the list as well as take any off.

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2:30 p.m. ET: 905,279 — Total deaths: 45,371 — Total recoveries: 190,710Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2:30 p.m. ET: 199,092 — Total deaths: 4,361 — Total recoveries: 8,362Map.
  3. Federal government latest: Vice President Mike Pence said that White House modeling suggests "Italy may be the most comparable area to the United States" in terms of coronavirus impact.
  4. State updates: Florida and Pennsylvania are the latest to issue stay-at-home orders, totaling 34 states and Washington, D.C.
  5. 2020 update: West Virginia is latest state to delay its primary — Bernie Sanders urged Wisconsin to delay April 7 primary.
  6.  🎧 Podcast: The Defense Production Act
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

West Virginia is latest state to delay primary due to coronavirus

Photo: Barbara Davidson/Getty Images

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice rescheduled the state's May 12 primary election to June 9 on Wednesday, citing fears surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, AP reports.

Why it matters: 23 other states and the District of Columbia haven't held primaries yet. The White House is recommending, for now, that Americans practice social distancing and gather in groups of no more than 10 people — while many states have issued stay-at-home orders.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Florida governor issues stay-at-home order

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered a statewide stay-at-home order on Wednesday after the number of coronavirus cases in the state rose to nearly 7,000.

Why it matters: DeSantis has been criticized for declining to order any statewide mandates to curb the spread of the coronavirus even as Florida — home to a significant elderly population — was increasingly becoming a hotspot. The order will go into effect Thursday at midnight and last for 30 days.