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Andrew Harnik / AP

Sean Spicer blasted Russia for its support of Assad, emphasizing that only "failed states" share their position and asking, "at what point do they recognize they're getting on the wrong side of history?" More highlights:

  • On Assad's use of chemical weapons: "Someone as despicable as Hitler didn't even sink to use chemical weapons," said Spicer. He later clarified: "He was not using the gas on his own people in the same way that Assad is doing."
  • Tillerson's Moscow trip: Tillerson is hoping to make a deal on how to defeat ISIS. Trump has also asked him to do his best to convince Russia that Assad must go.
  • Russian involvement in Syria: There is "no consensus" within the intelligence community on Russia's involvement in the chemical weapons attack.
  • On reviving Trumpcare: "We clearly are getting closer, more votes are moving in our direction."
  • Trump's thoughts on the United Airlines incident: "I don't think anyone looks at a video like that and isn't disturbed in some way."
  • Trump's North Korea tweets: Trump has made it clear that their actions are "not tolerable," adding, "The last thing we want to see is a nuclear North Korea that threatens the coast of the United States."

Go deeper

Updated 6 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — America has tuned out the coronavirus at the peak of its destruction — 1 in 3 people in L.A. County believed to have been infected with coronavirus.
  2. Politics: Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan— Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat — Joe Biden will seek nearly $2 trillion in COVID relief spending.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.
Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Trump blocks banks from limiting loans to gun and oil companies

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Big banks are no longer allowed to reject business loan applicants because of the industry in which they operate, according to a new rule finalized on Thursday by the Trump administration.

Why it matters: Wall Street has curtailed its exposure to industries like guns, oil and private prisons, driven by both public and shareholder pressures. This new rule could reverse that trend.

Former FDA commissioner: "Reliable drug supply is absolutely critical"

Axios' Caitlin Owens and former FDA commissioner Mark McClellan. Photo courtesy of Axios Events

Having a reliable supply of pharmaceutical drugs throughout America will be "absolutely critical" to boosting affordability in health care during the Biden administration, former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner Mark McClellan said at a virtual Axios Event on Friday.

The big picture: McClellan, who served under President George W. Bush, says drugs having limited supply and limited competition leads to elevated pricing. He considers drug supply to be a national security and public health issue.

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