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President Donald Trump yells to reporters as he walks to board Marine One Wednesday. Photo: Evan Vucci / AP

Deputy White House Press Secretary Raj Shah tried to downplay the significance of President Trump's anti-Muslim retweets by emphasizing Trump's commitment to national security and the safety of Americans. Even when reporters pointed to the outrage Trump's behavior ignited, specifically with U.K. leaders, Shah remained committed to his message.

The backdrop: This isn't the first time a White House spokesperson has tried to spin a seemingly impulsive action by President Trump into a broader policy directive.

Key quotes from Shah's gaggle on board Air Force One:

  • More on Trump's tweets of the Britain First: "The president has been talking about these security issues for years ... He's going to continue to talk about them on Twitter. He's going to talk about them in speeches. He's going to talk about them, you know, in policy discussions."
  • Spin on Democrats: "We are now looking at the possibility of a difficulty in passing government funding legislation because of disagreements on immigration policy. The Democrats' priority is amnesty. Our priority is safety and security."
  • Was Trump aware of the source of the tweets? How did they come to his attention. "I haven't talked to him about that ... we are not going to be focusing on process ... we are going to be focusing on the issues."
  • Does the president feel that Muslims are a threat to the U.S.? "No, look, the president has addressed these issues with the travel order," said Shah, noting that there are "plenty" of Muslim-majority nations not facing travel restrictions.

Go deeper: The darkest day of Trump's presidency

Go deeper

2 mins ago - Sports

Minor leaguers' major win

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Starting next season, MLB teams will be required to provide housing for minor league players.

Why it matters: "This is a historic victory," Harry Marino, director of the nonprofit Advocates for Minor Leaguers, told ESPN. It's also just the beginning of a fight for improved quality of life.

Poll: U.S. leadership approval rebounds from Trump low

A Gallup report published Tuesday found approval of United States leadership in 46 countries and territories hit 49% — up from 30% at the end of Donald Trump's presidency, and matching former President Obama's first year (2009).

Why it matters: Biden's efforts to reengage with the international community following the Trump administration appear to be improving the global approval ratings for U.S. leadership, though this poll does not take into account the withdrawal from Afghanistan in August.

These technologies could bring America to net zero emissions by 2050

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The newest section of a project from Third Way, the Bipartisan Policy Project and Clean Air Task Force examines how energy breakthroughs could accelerate America's transition to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Why it matters: The report chapter, provided first to Axios, is part of a broader effort known as the Decarb America Research Initiative, which explores the best ways to move the U.S. toward a net zero carbon emissions future by 2050.