Pablo Martinex Monsivais / AP

Spicer gave no answers when asked repeatedly about an embassy move to Jerusalem; told the press corps that his intention was never to lie to them; and dodged a slew of policy questions by saying he wouldn't get ahead of Trump. He sees a SCOTUS nomination within a few weeks and announced creation of four new "Skype seats" in the briefing room for media organizations based outside of D.C.

The other main takeaways are below the jump.

  1. Inauguration crowd size: It was "the most watched inaugural" both in person and around the globe. "It's not just about a crowd size... There is this constant theme to undercut the tremendous support he has."
  2. Condemned congressional Democrats on pace of voting for Cabinet nominees. At this point, 2 nominees have been confirmed, compared to 7 on Obama's first day in office.
  3. Trump will work with any country to defeat ISIS — including Moscow.
  4. On tweet that Trump removed MLK bust from the Oval Office: That was a "racially charged" statement that was created by the media.
  5. Documented evidence of Trump resigning from his businesses? Diverted question to Hope Hicks, who said it's "not public at this time."
  6. Did the media invent the feud between Trump and the intelligence community? Spicer said the CIA were "clapping" and "cheering" when Trump visited Saturday — it's all untrue.
  7. Mexico City policy: Trump respects both the unborn and U.S. taxpayers.
  8. Trump will not put troops in Iraq to "take the oil," but he also won't reveal or commit to any military plans.
  9. Trump spoke with Egyptian President Sisi today. Said he favors a bilateral relationship with Egypt, and has pledged assistance for anti-terrorism efforts.
  10. Obamacare mandate: "We have a mandate to make health care more accessible and lower cost... It's not a question about a mandate... It's about doing the right thing."
  11. Trump will reconvene with his CEO advisory in a month, meeting on a quarterly basis. The president will meet with union people at 3pm to discuss work agenda.

Go deeper

Congress' next moves to rein in Big Tech

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

After grilling the CEOs of Amazon, Facebook, Google and Apple last week, members of Congress are grappling with whether to accuse any of the firms of illegal anticompetitive behavior, to propose updating federal antitrust laws — or both.

The big picture: Congress is just one arm of government making the case against these companies. Google is expected to be the first of the firms to face possible antitrust litigation from the Justice Department before summer's end, but all four face a full-court press of investigations by DOJ, the Federal Trade Commission and state attorneys general.

Fauci: Coronavirus task force to examine aerosolized spread


A sneeze. Photo: Maartje van Caspel/Getty Images

The White House coronavirus task force will examine more closely just how much SARS-CoV-2 might be transmitted via aerosols, and not just from droplets, NIAID director Anthony Fauci said Wednesday at an online forum sponsored by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Why it matters: The longer the coronavirus can remain infectious in the air, the more likely it can infect people, particularly indoors — leading to the possible need to alter air filtration and circulation within buildings.

The next wave to hit Main Street

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Call it the great retail wash. A wave of defaults, bankruptcies and evictions expected in cities across the U.S. is poised to remake the retail landscape across the country, but there may be some upside for consumers and small businesses.

Why it matters: Rather than an overnight descent into a collection of urban wastelands full of Starbucks, Amazon fulfillment centers, Chase bank branches and nothing else, the coronavirus pandemic and resulting retail apocalypse may just mean that, in major U.S. cities, less is more.