John Boehner. Photo: Nathan Congleton/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Former Speaker of the House John Boehner said at a political conference in Michigan Thursday morning that the Republican party has lost its identity and is "taking a nap".

"There is no Republican party. There's a Trump party."
— Boehner

Highlights:

  • Trump is "most unusual person we've elected" as president, Boehner said.
  • Trump won the election fairly, Boehner said.
  • If all the "noise" surrounding the president is taken away, his policies are "by and large" good things from a Republican standpoint.
  • On the state of politics: "It's too divided. The left and the right are gnawing at each other" and the press is "throwing gasoline on it."
  • On foreign affairs: Boehner said foreign countries are "thrilled the U.S. is leading" again and that Trump is "doing the right thing" on foreign policy.
  • On a potential trade war: Boehner said he doesn't believe Trump is trying to start a trade war, but wants to get people to the negotiating table.

Go deeper: The cult of Trump

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Data: NewsWhip; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

The three biggest anti-Joe Biden storylines in right-wing media over the last year have either fizzled or are getting less online traction than they used to, according to data from NewsWhip provided exclusively to Axios.

Why it matters: This dynamic has rendered a formidable media ecosystem less effective in boosting President Trump as we move into the heart of the 2020 campaign.

A coronavirus alarm bell is going off in the Midwest

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A cluster of states in the Midwest are seeing more of their coronavirus tests coming back positive — potentially an early indicator of a growing outbreak.

The state of play: A high positive rate means that a higher share of those getting tested are sick. That could be because there are more sick people, or because a state isn't doing enough testing.

Biden clarifies comments on African American and Latino communities

Joe Biden delivering a speech in Delaware in July. Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Joe Biden explained on Twitter Thursday night what he "meant" by earlier comments suggesting that "the African American community is a monolith."

What they're saying: "Unlike the African-American community, with notable exceptions, the Latino community is an incredibly diverse community with incredibly different attitudes about different things," Biden remarked in an interview hosted by the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and the National Association for Black Journalists, Politico reports.