Oct 21, 2019

Trump: "You people with this phony emoluments clause"

In lengthy public comments at a Cabinet meeting on Monday, President Trump railed against media criticism of his decision — which he has since walked back — to hold next year's G7 summit at his Doral resort in Miami.

"I don't know if you know it — George Washington, he ran his business simultaneously while he was president. There weren't too many really rich presidents, but there were a few. They ran their business. Hey, Obama made a deal for a book. Is that running a business? I'm sure he didn't even discuss it while he was president. Yeah, yeah. He has a deal with Netflix. When did they start talking about that? That's only a couple of examples. ... I don't think you people with this phony emoluments clause — and by the way, I would say that it's cost me anywhere from $2 billion to $5 billion to be president. And that's OK.

Why it matters: Throughout his presidency, Trump has faced allegations that he and his family have abused the office of the presidency to enrich themselves. His G7 decision drew bipartisan scrutiny at a time when Trump needs Republicans in Congress to remain loyal as he weathers an impeachment inquiry.

Reality check: The emoluments clause of the Constitution is not "phony."

  • It states: "No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State."
  • In December, a federal appeals court in Virginia will hear an emoluments case brought by the state of Maryland and the District of Columbia that alleges Trump has profited from the presidency with the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C.
  • Trump's claim on Monday that the presidency has cost him anywhere from $2 billion to $5 billion is impossible to verify because he has not followed the modern presidential tradition of releasing his tax returns.

Go deeper: Mulvaney says Trump was "honestly surprised" at level of backlash over G7 decision

Go deeper

Federal judge strikes down Florida law requiring felons to pay fines before voting

Gov. Ron DeSantis. Photo: oe Raedle/Getty Images

A federal judge on Sunday ruled that a Florida law requiring convicted felons to pay all court fines and fees before registering to vote is unconstitutional.

Why it matters: The ruling, which will likely be appealed by state Republicans, would clear the way for hundreds of thousands of ex-felons in Florida to register to vote ahead of November's election.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5:30 p.m. ET: 5,375,648 — Total deaths: 343,721 — Total recoveries — 2,149,412Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 5:30 p.m. ET: 1,639,872 — Total deaths: 97,599 — Total recoveries: 361,239 — Total tested: 13,784,786Map.
  3. World: White House announces travel restrictions on Brazil, coronavirus hotspot in Southern Hemisphere Over 100 coronavirus cases in Germany tied to single day of church services — Boris Johnson backs top aide amid reports that he broke U.K. lockdown while exhibiting symptoms.
  4. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks headed into Memorial Day weekend Report finds "little evidence" coronavirus under control in most statesHurricanes, wildfires, the flu could strain COVID-19 response
  5. Economy: White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Public employees brace for layoffs.
  6. Federal government: Trump attacks a Columbia University study that suggests earlier lockdown could have saved 36,000 American lives.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

White House announces new coronavirus travel restrictions on Brazil

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro with Trump, March 19, 2019. Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo-Pool via Getty Images

The White House announced that beginning at 11:59 pm ET on Thursday, President Trump would suspend entry of non-U.S. citizens who have been in Brazil in the past 14 days in an effort to stop the imported spread of the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Brazil has reported nearly 350,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus — the second-most in the world behind the U.S. — and has emerged as a Southern Hemisphere hotspot as other heavily affected countries in Asia and Europe have managed to get their outbreaks under control.