Lazaro Gamio / Axios

Spicer opened the briefing with a discussion of global reaction to the U.S. missile strike in Syria: "By all measures, the world and domestic reaction was highly laudable of the president's action," said Spicer. He added that, "If you look at the countries that are with us, it speaks pretty loudly. Russia stands with Syria, North Korea and Iran." Other takeaways:

  • Why bomb but not take refugees? "With respect to the people of Syria, by us taking action and de-escalating what's going on in Syria, that's the greatest thing you can do to support those people." Spicer added that the U.S. plans to work with allies "including Russia" to create safe zones.
  • Is Assad a war criminal? Spicer says that's for a court to decide.
  • Tillerson in Moscow: "There's a lot of things to discuss... the overall fight on ISIS... we need to remind them of the commitments they made and the commitments Syria made... We need to see what goes beyond rhetoric and what [Russia is] willing to commit to in action."
  • Middle East policy: Spicer said America's goal is to beat ISIS, then "we can apply political, economic and diplomatic pressure for regime change" in Syria. He added that if the WH can make a deal with Russia to defeat ISIS, "we'll do it."
  • WH infighting: Spicer said Trump is "very confident" that Bannon, Kushner and other senior aides can resolve their differences, noting that a lot of the reports have been "a little bit more sensational than it truly is." He later added that Trump "doesn't want a monolithical thought process in the White House... There is always going to be a healthy debate internally."

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Updated 21 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: The swing states where the pandemic is raging — Pence no longer expected to attend Barrett confirmation vote after COVID exposure.
  2. Health: 13 states set single-day case records last week
  3. Business: Where stimulus is needed most.
  4. Education: The dangerous instability of school re-openings.
  5. States: Nearly two dozen Minnesota COVID cases traced to 3 Trump campaign events
  6. World: Restrictions grow across Europe.
  7. Media: Fox News president and several hosts advised to quarantine.

Republicans and Dems react to Coney Barrett's Supreme Court confirmation

President Trump stands with Judge Amy Coney Barrett after she took the constitutional oath to serve as a Supreme Court justice during a White House ceremony Monday night .Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

President Trump said Judge Amy Coney Barrett's Senate confirmation to the Supreme Court and her subsequent taking of the constitutional oath Monday was a "momentous day," as she she vowed to serve "without any fear or favour."

  • But as Republicans applauded the third conservative justice in four years, many Democrats including Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) warned of consequences to the rush to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg ahead of the Nov. 3 election, with progressives leading calls to expand the court.
Ina Fried, author of Login
1 hour ago - Science

CRISPR pioneer: "Science is on the ballot" in 2020

Photo: "Axios on HBO"

In her three decades in science, Jennifer Doudna said she has seen a gradual erosion of trust in the profession, but the recent Nobel Prize winner told "Axios on HBO" that the institution itself has been under assault from the current administration.

  • "I think science is on the ballot," Doudna said in the interview.

Why it matters: That has manifested itself in everything from how the federal government approaches climate change to the pandemic.