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Attorney General Bill Barr confirmed on Fox News' "Special Report" on Monday that the Secret Service recommended that President Trump go down to the White House bunker last week during tense protests nearby.

Why it matters: Barr directly contradicted Trump's claim last week that he'd only gone down to the bunker to "inspect" the facility. The president spent an hour in the bunker, which is typically used for emergencies such as terrorist attacks.

What they're saying:

  • Trump last week: "I've gone down two or three times, all for inspection. And, you go there, some day you may need it. I went down. I looked at it. It was during the day, and it was not a problem ... There was never a problem ... nobody ever came close to giving us a problem."
  • Barr on Monday: "We were reacting to three days of extremely violent demonstrations right across from the White House. A lot of injuries to police officers, arson. Things were so bad that the Secret Service recommended the president go down to the bunker. We can't have that in our country."

The big picture: Barr has come under scrutiny for directing federal law enforcement to clear Lafayette Park ahead of the president's photo op at St. John's Episcopal Church last Monday.

  • He denies that protestors were intentionally cleared from Lafayette Park to pave way for Trump's outing, and said on Fox that he would do it again knowing what he knows now about the conduct of protesters.

Go deeper: Barr accuses media of lying about peaceful protesters outside White House

Go deeper

Mark Meadows: I wouldn't have recommended Woodward's WH access

President Trump confers with White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows at the White House on Sept. 1. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told Fox News Wednesday he wouldn't have recommended that Bob Woodward gain the extensive White House access the journalist did for his interviews with President Trump.

Why it matters: Trump has faced criticism following leaks of Woodward's new book "Rage," particularly for his comments during on-the-record interviews earlier this year that his approach to the coronavirus pandemic was to "play it down" to avoid a panic — something Meadows used in defense of the president during his interview.

Toyota to build $1.3 billion U.S. battery plant in North Carolina

The all-electric Toyota bZ4X, the company's first battery-electric vehicle, at the Los Angeles Auto Show in Los Angeles, California on Nov. 17. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

Toyota announced Monday it's investing $1.3 billion to construct an electric vehicle battery "megasite" near Greensboro, North Carolina, set to open in 2025.

Why it matters: Toyota's Prius hybrid won environmental plaudits when it launched in 1997, but it has since lost ground to electric vehicle world leader Tesla, per Axios' Joann Muller. This battery plant will be the first to produce automotive batteries for Toyota in North America.

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Congress hunts for shortcut to pass defense funding, debt limit combo

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer returned to his office Monday. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

The scramble in Congress to pass the National Defense Authorization Act is being complicated by an effort to tie it to a needed hike in the federal debt limit.

Why it matters: The House and Senate are rapidly coming up against a series of deadlines they must address before the end of the year — or risk disrupting crucial military funding and upending the economy. Congressional leaders are now hoping they can knock out both "must-pass" priorities in one, complex swoop.

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