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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.

20 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Hundreds of Biden staffers receive COVID vaccine

Screenshots of an email inviting White House staff to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, obtained by Alayna Treene/Axios

A week into the job, President Biden's White House medical team has administered the coronavirus vaccine to several hundred staffers — and aims to vaccinate all in-person staff over the next few weeks, officials tell Axios.

Why it matters: The new administration is ramping up steps to protect President Biden and all staff working inside the White House complex. The administration is also requiring daily employee COVID tests and N95 masks at all times.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

The Leon Black clock strikes midnight

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Leon Black is "retiring" as CEO of Apollo Global Management, the alternative investment giant he has led since co-founding it in 1990. But he is not making a full break, as Black will remain chair of Apollo's board of directors.

Why it matters: This is the culmination of 18 months of head-in-the-sand obfuscation of Black's dealings with Jeffrey Epstein.

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