Evan Vucci / AP

Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Sanders surprised reporters for a second day in a row when she appeared at the briefing podium Wednesday instead of Sean Spicer. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials also spoke, with Sanders claiming that if the White House had announced the guests ahead of time, the media wouldn't have covered them. Other highlights from the off-camera briefing:

Sarah Sanders

  • Is Trump running for reelection? "Of course."
  • On Manafort retroactively registering as a foreign agent: Sanders said she can't speak for the 2016 campaign team.
  • What are Trump's policy preferences on Medicaid? Sanders said she didn't have that information.

ICE acting Director Thomas Homan

  • On separating families: "Families of U.S. citizens get separated every day" and people who are in the U.S. illegally have "put themselves in that position."
  • On notion immigrants are "more dangerous": Homan conceded that undocumented immigrants do not commit more crimes than native born Americans.
  • Number of illegal immigrants in U.S.: "11 to 12 million" said Homan, and noted that he "never heard" of the 30 million estimate Trump used in his 2016 campaign.
  • On ICE's reputation: "People think I'm standing up here and I'm the devil. Why am I so strong on this? If you saw what I saw over the last 33 years, I wouldn't get half the bad media that I get."

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Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 19,193,661 — Total deaths: 716,735 — Total recoveries — 11,611,029Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 4,918,927 — Total deaths: 160,737 — Total recoveries: 1,598,624 — Total tests: 59,652,675Map.
  3. Politics: White House recommends Trump issue executive orders on coronavirus aid.
  4. Education: Cuomo says all New York schools can reopen for in-person learning.
  5. Public health: Surgeon general urges flu shots to prevent "double whammy" with coronavirus — Massachusetts pauses reopening after uptick in coronavirus cases
  6. World: Africa records over 1 million coronavirus cases — Gates Foundation puts $150 million behind coronavirus vaccine production.

Trump: "We are going a different way" on coronavirus aid

President Trump. Photo: Jim Watsonn/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump tweeted on Friday that his administration is "going a different way" with coronavirus aid after negotiations with congressional Democrats stalled again, suggesting he will use an executive order to address stimulus spending.

What he's saying: "Pelosi and Schumer only interested in Bailout Money for poorly run Democrat cities and states. Nothing to do with China Virus! Want one trillion dollars. No interest. We are going a different way!" Trump tweeted.

Trump's swift, sweeping China offensive

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump's rhetoric on China has tended to run hotter than his actions — until now.

Why it matters: Even at the height of Trump's trade war, his administration never hit China as hard, as fast, and on as many fronts as it is right now.