Aug 2, 2017

Highlights from Sanders' Wednesday briefing

Evan Vucci / AP

Sarah Sanders said Wednesday that President Trump supports the Russia sanctions bill, and stated that he did not speak to Vladimir Putin before signing the legislation earlier today. Other highlights from the press briefing:

  • On Trump inaccurately saying he had spoken by phone with the Mexican president and head of Boy Scouts: "I wouldn't say it was a lie. That's a pretty bold accusation. The conversations took place. They just didn't take place over a phone call."
  • On GOP Sen. Flake's jabs at Trump: "I think Sen. Flake would serve his constituents much better if he was less focused on writing a book and attacking the president."

Trump's senior policy advisor, Stephen Miller, on President Trump's latest push to reduce legal immigration:

  • "The most important question when it comes to the U.S. immigration system is who gets a green card... [that's] the golden ticket of U.S. immigration."
  • Basis of Cotton-Perdue immigration bill: "Switching to a skills-based system and ending unfettered chain migration... over time you will cut net migration in half... public support is so immense on this."
  • When NYT reporter Glenn Thrush asked for statistics proving low skilled workers are a detriment to the economy: "Maybe we'll make a carve-out in the bill that says NYT can hire all the low skilled... workers they want... and see how you feel then."
  • When CNN's Jim Acosta asked if the bill would favor people from English-speaking countries: "Your cosmopolitan bias is showing."
  • Will the new immigration bill affect Trump properties? "This legislation deals with green cards with permanent immigration.. those are separate categories from the guest worker visas."
  • On DACA: "Whatever we do is going to prioritize the interests of American citizens and workers."

A veteran WH correspondent's impression of today's briefing:

Go deeper

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

Japan's economy minister outlined plans on Monday to end the nationwide state of emergency as the number of new novel coronavirus cases continues to decline to less than 50 a day, per Bloomberg. Japan has reported 16,550 cases and 820 deaths.

By the numbers: Over 5.4 million people have tested positive for the virus as of Monday, and more than 2.1 million have recovered. The U.S. has reported the most cases in the world (over 1.6 million from 13.7 million tests). The U.K. is reporting over 36,800 deaths from the coronavirus — the most fatalities outside the U.S.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of midnight ET: 5,401,701 — Total deaths: 345,060 — Total recoveries — 2,149,407Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of midnight ET: 1,643,238 — Total deaths: 97,720 — Total recoveries: 366,736 — Total tested: 14,163,195Map.
  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.

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Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

President Trump doubled down on his push to reopen schools, tweeting late Sunday: "Schools in our country should be opened ASAP."

Zoom in: Trump pushed back on NIAD Director Anthony Fauci cautioning against the move earlier this month, calling his concerns "not an acceptable answer."