President Trump slammed American allies in Europe on trade, telling Fox News' Maria Bartiromo during an exclusive interview on Sunday morning, "The European Union is possibly as bad as China, just smaller. It's terrible what they do to us."

Why it matters: It's conventional wisdom among economists that the U.S. needs allies' support to take on a powerful — and growing — China.

Trump also said that the White House didn't put restrictions on Chinese companies investing in U.S. tech because he "didn't like pinpointing China" and "they are not the only" country stealing U.S. intellectual property.

"I get along with China. I like the president. President for life, we can call him the king, right? I like the president. I didn't like pinpointing China. I don't think it's fair. They are not the only one. Now, they are bigger and stronger, and frankly they do it more, and they're probably a bigger violator, but it is other countries, too. I wanted to go worldwide ... So you mean China can't do it but other countries can?"

Flashback: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the same thing when it was first reported that the White House was considering restrictions on Chinese firms — a move the Trump administration explicitly proposed in May.

The big picture: Trump punted the issue of Chinese investment restrictions to Congress last week, announcing that he would endorse a bipartisan piece of legislation called FIRRMA, which is intended to strengthen the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, an existing body that reviews foreign investments in the U.S.

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Trump signs 4 executive actions on coronavirus aid

President Trump speaking during a press conference on Aug. 8. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump on Saturday signed four executive actions to provide relief from economic damage sustained during the coronavirus pandemic after talks between the White House and Democratic leadership collapsed Friday afternoon.

Why it matters: Because the Constitution gives Congress the power to appropriate federal spending, Trump has limited authority to act unilaterally — and risks a legal challenge if congressional Democrats believe he has overstepped.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2. p.m. ET: 4,968,413 — Total deaths: 161,858 — Total recoveries: 1,623,870 — Total tests: 60,415,558Map.
  3. Public health: Fauci says chances are "not great" that COVID-19 vaccine will be 98% effective.
  4. Science: Indoor air is the next coronavirus frontline.
  5. Schools: How back-to-school is playing out in the South as coronavirus rages on — Princeton, Johns Hopkins, Howard to hold fall classes online.
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What's next for Lebanon after the Beirut explosion

Photo: Houssam Shbaro/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Beirut residents are still clearing rubble from streets that appear war-torn, days after a blast that shocked the country and horrified the world.

Why it matters: The explosion is likely to accelerate a painful cycle Lebanon was already living through — discontent, economic distress, and emigration.