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Alex Brandon / AP

Sean Spicer gave an off-camera briefing on Syria from Palm Beach Friday. Spicer said the U.S. missile strike was "very decisive" and a proportional response to the Assad regime's chemical weapons attack. "It sent a strong signal not just to Syria, but throughout the world."

  • Leading up to strike: Spicer said Trump gave the "OK" for the strike at 4 pm Thursday. The Tomahawks were launched at 7.40 pm and all 59 missiles hit their target. At 8:30 pm the first impact was reported, and the "initial results were extremely positive."
  • Informing Xi: Spicer said he isn't exactly clear of the timeline, but said he believes Trump told President Xi about the strike once all of the missiles had hit their targets. President Xi was informed on the way back to his hotel after dinner.
  • Contact with Russia: Spicer said Russia was made aware of the operation, but beyond that, "no political contact was made" with Moscow.
  • Should Assad step down? "At a minimum," he must abide by the international agreement not to use chemical weapons, said Spicer, adding that "there is a mutual level of human decency that I think we can expect out of everybody."

Go deeper

CDC: Fully vaccinated people can gather indoors without masks

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People who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can take fewer precautions in certain situations, including socializing indoors without masks when in the company of low-risk or other vaccinated individuals, according to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released Monday.

Why it matters: The report cites early evidence that suggests vaccinated people are less likely to have asymptomatic infection, and are potentially less likely to transmit the virus to other people. At the time of its publication, the CDC said the guidance would apply to about 10% of Americans.

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Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse tells "Axios on HBO" that if his company loses a lawsuit brought by the SEC, it would put the U.S. cryptocurrency industry at a competitive disadvantage.

Why it matters: Garlinghouse's comments may seem self-serving, but his call for clearer crypto rules is consistent with longstanding entreaties from other industry players.

Republican Sen. Roy Blunt will not seek re-election in 2022

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), widely seen as a member of the Republican establishment in Congress, will not run for re-election in 2022, he announced on Twitter Monday.

Why it matters: The 71-year-old senator is the No. 4-ranking Republican in the Senate, and the fifth GOP senator to announce he will not run for re-election in 2022 as the party faces questions about its post-Trump future.