Photo: Photo: Chris Conway/Getty

Democratic National Committee officials voted 17-8 on Thursday against a proposal to host a primary debate focused exclusively on climate change, according to HuffPost.

The big picture: Environmental activists, including the youth-led Sunrise Movement, have been pressuring the DNC for months to host a first-of-its-kind debate on the climate crisis. Top officials say it would open the floodgates to other single-issue debates on topics like health care and abortion rights, and also worry that it could harm the eventual nominee in the general election by alienating voters in states that rely on the fossil fuel industry, per HuffPost.

  • The committee voted in favor of a separate resolution to sanction a less-formal climate forum, similar to the town halls that CNN and MSNBC will be hosting this fall.

Driving the news: Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, who sought to make climate change the centerpiece of the campaign, dropped out of the presidential race just one day before the vote. His advocacy has helped elevate the issue to a degree unseen in prior cycles.

What they're saying ... A coalition of grassroots climate activists, including the Sunrise Movement, Greenpeace and 350.org, said in a statement:

"Nearly half a million grassroots activists pushed their DNC members to support a full-fledged climate debate between the candidates. It's proof of their grassroots power that the resolutions committee advanced something we believe will encourage more direct debate on the climate crisis by allowing multi-candidate forums with simultaneous 'discussion' between candidates. 
We will keep the pressure up on the DNC to pass these resolutions on Saturday. The climate crisis is too important to both our future and our ability to mobilize the voters we need to beat Donald Trump -- the DNC must use this opportunity to showcase the clear contrast between the Democratic candidates and Donald Trump on the climate crisis, whose only answer to this emergency is to deny that it is even happening."

Go deeper: Kamala Harris joins CNN climate change town hall after criticism from activists

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Robert Mueller speaks out on Roger Stone commutation

Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller testifies before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on Capitol Hill on Wednesday July 24, 2019. Photo: The Washington Post / Contributor

Former special counsel Robert Mueller responded to claims from President Trump and his allies that Roger Stone was a "victim" in the Justice Department's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, writing in a Washington Post op-ed published Saturday: "He remains a convicted felon, and rightly so."

Why it matters: The rare public comments by Mueller come on the heels of President Trump's move to commute the sentence of his longtime associate, who was sentenced in February to 40 months in prison for crimes stemming from the Russia investigation. The controversial decision brought an abrupt end to the possibility of Stone spending time behind bars.

Trump dons face mask during Walter Reed visit

Trump wearing a face mask in Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on July 11. Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump wore a face mask during his Saturday visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, according to AP.

Why it matters: This is the first known occasion the president has appeared publicly with a facial covering as recommended by health officials since the coronavirus pandemic began, AP writes.

Updated 10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5:30 p.m. ET: 12,607,510 — Total deaths: 562,338 — Total recoveries — 6,948,863Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 5:30 p.m. ET: 3,228,884 — Total deaths: 134,600 — Total recoveries: 983,185 — Total tested: 38,919,421Map.
  3. Public health: Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter: "Please wear a mask to save lives" Fauci hasn't briefed Trump on the coronavirus pandemic in at least two months — We're losing the war on the coronavirus.
  4. Food: How the coronavirus pandemic boosted alternative meat.
  5. Sports: Charge of "money grab" by college football.
  6. World: India reimposes lockdowns as coronavirus cases soar.