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Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and President Donald Trump speak during a meeting with lawmakers on immigration policy at the White House. Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Amid the backlash from Trump allies over the President’s reported “shithole” countries comments at an immigration meeting, Sen. Dick Durbin told reporters today that he “know what happened" and "stand behind every word that I said.” The Illinois Democrat also said reports saying White House officials are debating internally whether the President said 'shithole' or 'shithouse’ does not change "the impact” his racially-charged rhetoric had caused.

The backdrop: Durbin was at the bipartisan immigration meeting at the Oval Office last week, when Trump reportedly called Haiti and African nations 'shithole’ countries. Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham has also indicated that reports of Trump's remarks are true.

Go deeper: Trump's "shithole" comments continue to rile Washington

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
54 mins ago - Economy & Business

Trump blocks banks from limiting loans to gun and oil companies

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Big banks are no longer allowed to reject business loan applicants because of the industry in which they operate, according to a new rule finalized on Thursday by the Trump administration.

Why it matters: Wall Street has curtailed its exposure to industries like guns, oil and private prisons, driven by both public and shareholder pressures. This new rule could reverse that trend.

Former FDA commissioner: "Reliable drug supply is absolutely critical"

Axios' Caitlin Owens and former FDA commissioner Mark McClellan. Photo courtesy of Axios Events

Having a reliable supply of pharmaceutical drugs throughout America will be "absolutely critical" to boosting affordability in health care during the Biden administration, former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner Mark McClellan said at a virtual Axios Event on Friday.

The big picture: McClellan, who served under President George W. Bush, says drugs having limited supply and limited competition leads to elevated pricing. He considers drug supply to be a national security and public health issue.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
4 hours ago - Economy & Business

Americans are still spending money

Source: Census Bureau; Chart: Axios Visuals

Americans spent more money at stores and restaurants in 2020 than they did in 2019 — even in the face of a devastating global pandemic that shut down broad sectors of the economy.

Why it matters: The monthly retail sales report this morning came in well below expectations, and showed consumer spending falling on a seasonally-adjusted basis. Total expenditures were still higher in December 2020 than they were a year previously, however.