Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Trump — in a TIME interview posted late Monday night — downplayed the alleged Iranian attacks against two tankers in the Gulf of Oman last week, calling them "very minor."

The backdrop: It published just hours after Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan announced U.S. is deploying an additional 1,000 troops to the Middle East in response to "hostile behavior by Iranian forces and their proxy groups."

The intrigue: "Trump argued that the Gulf of Oman is less strategically important for the United States now than it used to be," the magazine reports.

  • “Other places get such vast amounts of oil there,” Trump told Time. “We get very little."
  • Last Friday, he backed up Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's accusation that Iran is responsible for the attacks: "Iran did do it. You know they did it because you saw the boat, I guess one of the mines didn't explode and it's probably got essentially Iran written all over it."

Quick take: It's true that U.S. crude imports from the region have been plummeting for years as U.S. production has surged, as Bloomberg's Javier Blas notes.

  • But roughly 18 million barrels per day — nearly a fifth of global demand — pass through the Strait of Hormuz.

The bottom line: Closure of the passage or a major conflict in the region would nonetheless send oil prices skyrocketing, affecting U.S. consumers and industries.

Go deeper: Pentagon releases additional photos alleging Iran behind oil tanker attacks

Go deeper

Trump pushes to expand ban against anti-racism training to federal contractors

Trump speaking at Moon Township, Penns., on Sept. 22. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump announced late Tuesday that the White House attempt to halt federal agencies' anti-racism training would be expanded to block federal contractors from "promoting radical ideologies that divide Americans by race or sex."

Why it matters: The executive order appears to give the government the ability to cancel contracts if anti-racist or diversity trainings focused on sexual identity or gender are organized. The memo applies to executive departments and agencies, the U.S. military, federal contractors and federal grant recipients.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 p.m. ET: 31,467,508 — Total deaths: 967,881— Total recoveries: 21,583,915Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 p.m. ET: 6,890,662 — Total deaths: 200,710 — Total recoveries: 2,646,959 — Total tests: 96,612,436Map.
  3. Health: The U.S. reaches 200,000 coronavirus deaths — The CDC's crumbling reputation — America turns against coronavirus vaccine.
  4. Politics: Elected officials are failing us on much-needed stimulus.
  5. Business: Two-thirds of business leaders think pandemic will lead to permanent changes — Fed chair warns economy will feel the weight of expired stimulus.
  6. Sports: NFL fines maskless coaches.
Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

GoodRx prices IPO at $33 per share, valued at $12.7 billion

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

GoodRx, a price comparison app for prescription drugs at local pharmacies, on Tuesday night raised $1.14 billion in its IPO, Axios has learned.

By the numbers: GoodRx priced its shares at $33 a piece, above its $24-$28 per share offering range, which will give it an initial market cap of around $12.7 billion.

Get Axios AM in your inbox

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!