Apr 19, 2017

Key takeaways from Spicer's Wednesday briefing

Lazaro Gamio / Axios

Spicer attempted to clear up the confusion regarding the direction of the USS Carl Vinson, stating that the administration was correct in saying an armada was heading to the Korean peninsula because "it's headed there now." He later added, "I'm not the one who commented on timing."

One fun thing: New England Patriots player Rob Gronkowski poked his head into the briefing ahead of the team's meeting with Trump, and asked Spicer (a big fan) if he needed any help. "I got this," Spicer laughed, later adding, "That was cool."

  • Palestinian Authority President's WH visit: Trump will welcome Mahmoud Abbas to the White House May 3.
  • Georgia Special Election: Democrats' "goal was to get over 50%. They came up short." said Spicer. "This was a big loss for them. They went all in on it."
  • Will Trump visit Pope Francis during Italy trip? Spicer said the administration is reaching out to the Vatican, but no meeting has been confirmed. "Obviously we would be honored," he added.
  • On whether corporate donations to the inauguration raises conflicts: Corporate donations are "a nonpartisan activity" and "a time-honored tradition," said Spicer. "There's disclosure on this for a reason so that you know what's happening."
  • Trump presser: Trump will hold a press conference next Thursday on progress for veterans.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10:30 p.m. ET: 1,273,990 — Total deaths: 69,444 — Total recoveries: 260,247Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10:30 p.m. ET: 337,310 — Total deaths: 9,634 — Total recoveries: 17,461Map.
  3. Federal government latest: Surgeon general says this week will be "our Pearl Harbor, our 9/11 moment." The USDA confirms that a Bronx zoo tiger tested positive for coronavirus.
  4. 2020 latest: "We have no contingency plan," Trump said on the 2020 Republican National Convention. Biden says DNC may have to hold virtual convention.
  5. States updates: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state is "literally going day-to-day" with supplies.
  6. World update: Queen Elizabeth II urges the British people to confront pandemic with "self-discipline" and "resolve" in rare televised address.
  7. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal health. Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Intelligence community watchdog suggests Trump fired him for doing his job

Michael Atkinson, Inspector General of the Intelligence Community,at the Capitol in October. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson suggested in a statement Sunday President Trump fired him for acting impartially in carrying out his duties following a whistleblower complaint.

Why it matters: Atkinson alerted Congress last September to the complaint on Trump's correspondence with Ukraine's president, triggering an inquiry that resulted in the Trump's impeachment.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. coronavirus updates: Death toll passes 9,500

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Recorded deaths from the novel coronavirus surpassed 9,500 in the U.S. Sunday evening, per Johns Hopkins data. The death toll in the U.S. has risen over 1,000 every day since April 1.

Why it matters: U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said on Sunday this upcoming week will be "the hardest and saddest week of most Americans' lives" — calling it our "our Pearl Harbor, our 9/11 moment."

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health