Apr 24, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Fox News’ Bret Baier doubts Trump's disinfectant comments were sarcastic

Fox News' Bret Baier on Friday doubted President Trump's claim that he was being sarcastic when he said disinfectants and UV light may be used to treat patients infected with the coronavirus.

What they're saying: During an interview, Fox News' Melissa Francis noted the president said he was “being sarcastic by posing a question to reporters, he claims that he did not ask medical experts to look into it. He was simply asking a sarcastic question.”

  • "That's not how it looked in the briefing, and not how it came across," Baier said. "What's problematic for this president is he goes on these riffs, and when you're dealing with medical statements, when you're riffing from a podium, sometimes that works great on other topics when politics comes into play, but when riffing about possible cures or treatments ... It didn't seem like it was coming off as sarcastic when he was talking and turning to Dr. [Deborah Birx] on the side."
  • "I don't think he wants to cause any harm to anyone, obviously, and no one at home thinks, 'Oh, you know what, now I'm going to go drink bleach,' I don't think. But it is, clearly, something he stepped in here."

Go deeper: Trump claims comments that disinfectants could treat coronavirus were sarcastic

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Mark Zuckerberg: Social networks should not be "the arbiter of truth"

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg argued on CNBC's "Squawk Box" Thursday that social media platforms should not police political speech, and that "people should be able to see what politicians say.”

Why it matters: Zuckerberg was responding to Twitter's decision this week to fact-check a pair of President Trump's tweets that claimed that mail-in ballots are "substantially fraudulent." Twitter's label, which directs users to "get the facts" about mail-in voting, does not censor Trump's tweets.

House Democrats pull FISA reauthorization bill

Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

House Democrats pulled legislation Thursday that would have renewed expired domestic surveillance laws and strengthened transparency and privacy protections amid broad opposition from President Trump, House GOP leadership and progressive Democrats.

Why it matters: The failure to reauthorize the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) comes as Trump continues to attack the intelligence community, which he claims abused the law to surveil his 2016 campaign and Trump administration officials.

U.S. GDP drop revised lower to 5% in the first quarter

Data: Bureau of Economic Analysis; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. economy shrunk by an annualized 5% in the first quarter — worse than the initially estimated 4.8% contraction — according to revised figures released by the government on Thursday.

Why it matters: It's the worst quarterly decline since 2008 and shows a huge hit as the economy was just beginning to shut down because of the coronavirus. Economists are bracing for the second quarter's figures to be the worst ever — with some projecting an annualized decline of around 40%.

1 hour ago - Economy & Business