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Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP

Spicer's back after a quiet weekend in the White House. He opened with a strong defense of the AHCA, as he's done for every briefing since the draft of the new GOP healthcare bill was released last Monday. Spicer also confirmed that Trump is meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping; nodded to Trump's first Cabinet meeting this afternoon — where 4 seats will be vacant thanks to the Senate delaying their confirmations; and noted that Preet Bharara's firing was "standard procedure."

More updates below:

  • Trump's salary: "The president's intention is to donate his salary at the end of the year... and he's asked that you all determine where it goes," said Spicer.
  • Obama wiretapping: "If you look at the president's tweet, he said 'wiretapping'" said Spicer, adding that Trump doesn't mean that Obama personally tapped his phones... he used the term broadly, "that's why it was in quotes." He also noted that "from a WH perspective" there's been an abundance of media reports on intelligence abuse during the 2016 election.
  • Trump's meeting with Angela Merkel is postponed to Friday March 17 due to the upcoming snow storm.

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters — Omicron variant lifts Moderna's stock price — CDC strengthens COVID booster recommendation.
  2. Politics: Biden says fight against Omicron won't include "shutdowns or lockdowns."
  3. States: Federal court blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for health workers in 10 states — NYC urges masks indoors "at all times" regardless of vaccination status — New York declares state of emergency amid concerns over Omicron.
  4. World: Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating worldWHO warns against travel bans on southern African countries — First North American Omicron cases identified in Canada.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Kendall Baker, author of Sports
Updated 2 hours ago - Sports

College football gone mad

Former Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly walks in front of his players. Photo: David Madison/Getty Images

In the span of two days, the head coaches of two of the biggest college football programs in America have jumped ship, wooed by even greater challenges — and the almighty dollar.

Driving the news: Lincoln Riley is ditching Oklahoma for USC in a deal reportedly worth $110 million. LSU poached Brian Kelly from Notre Dame with a reported 10-year, $100 million contract.

Media startups anxiously await BuzzFeed’s stock market debut

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Digital media companies considering going public are watching BuzzFeed's expected stock market debut next week to see how investors will respond.

Why it matters: A slowdown in SPACs (special purpose acquisition companies) earlier this year pushed some digital media companies that were considering going public via SPAC IPOs away from the idea, such as Vice.