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White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday that he regrets suggesting this week that unemployment benefits can only be extended by Congress.

Why it matters: President Trump's decision to bypass Congress to sign four executive actions, including one that provides $400 per week in extra unemployment benefits, has prompted outcry from Democrats and even some Republicans who believe he is overstepping his constitutional authority.

  • Trump, who signed the orders after negotiations with Democrats over coronavirus relief broke down, has limited power to unilaterally appropriate federal spending and risks a legal challenge.
  • Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) was among the Republicans who condemned Trump's move, calling it "unconstitutional slop."

What he's saying: Asked to clarify an interview he gave earlier in the week to Fox Business, Kudlow said: "I'm not the lawyer and I probably spoke out of turn there."

  • "I was thinking at that point we might be able to get a deal with congressional Democrats. As you know, we were unable to get that deal. We tried a couple times, we offered compromises, we couldn't get it.
  • "So the president decided to take action on his own. Of course I think he was right to do so, and when the lawyers gave me a green light then, sure, no problem."

The big picture: Kudlow acknowledged that it's not clear whether states have the money to provide 25% of the additional unemployment benefits, as ordered by Trump. "We'll probably find that out today or tomorrow as we make our canvas," he told CNN.

Go deeper

Updated Nov 12, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Top GOP senators say Biden should have access to classified briefings

A growing number of Republican senators, including members of GOP leadership, said Thursday that President-elect Joe Biden should get the intelligence briefings that he is currently unable to receive because of President Trump's refusal to accept the election results.

Why it matters: Only four GOP senators have acknowledged Biden as the next president, with the rest saying the appropriate legal processes should be allowed to play out. But even the ones still supporting President Trump's legal fight are pushing for Biden to begin to receive classified briefings for national security reasons.

2 hours ago - Health

India crosses 1 billion COVID vaccinations milestone

A health worker inoculates a COVID-19 vaccine dose to a man wearing a face mask of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Beawar, India, in September. Photo: Sumit Saraswat/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced Thursday that the country's health workers have now administered more than 1 billion COVID-19 vaccines doses.

Of note: While this is a significant milestone for the country of 1.4 billion, which has been devastated by the coronavirus, only about 30% of the eligible population has been fully vaccinated against the virus, per AP. Roughly 75% has received at least one dose.

Trump says he plans to launch new social media network in 2022

Photo: Chris Delmas/AFP via Getty Images

Former President Trump on Wednesday announced plans to launch a social media network called "Truth Social," and that it would go public via a SPAC.

Why it matters: Most ex-presidents are focused on their legacies, by creating presidential libraries or engaging in philanthropic endeavors. Trump, however, remains consumed by social media.