Andrew Harnik / AP

Sean Spicer, who was back at the podium for his first on-camera briefing in 8 days, told reporters Tuesday that he didn't know whether President Trump, or anyone in the White House, has seen a draft of the Senate's health care bill yet — which is set for a vote in the coming weeks — but emphasized that Trump "clearly wants a bill that has heart in it." Spicer also deflected questions on why the Senate has been so secretive in crafting its bill, stating, "It's not our job to go in and dictate how they do it." Other takeaways:

  • On reports that he may be shifting to a new role within the administration: "I'm right here," joked Spicer, before adding, "we're always looking for ways of doing a better job of articulating the president's agenda." He later noted the communications director role is still open.
  • On lack of on-camera briefings: "The briefing is one aspect of what we do," said Spicer, contending that Trump and his staff are available to the press a "significant" amount compared to past administrations.
  • Does Trump believe Russia interfered in our elections? "I have not sat down and talked to him about that specifically," said Spicer.
  • Senate health care bill: "The president clearly wants a bill that has heart in it," said Spicer, but he still doesn't know if Trump, or anyone in the WH, has seen the bill yet.
  • On Senate being secretive in crafting health bill: "It's not our job to go in and dictate how they do it."
  • Hedging on Georgia race: "Historically, special elections don't generally foretell the outcome of races multiple years down the road... This is a district the President won by one point. It's obviously going to be competitive."
  • Potential North Korea travel ban: "I think the state department is mulling additional advisories, and I'll leave it to them."
  • Death of Otto Warmbier: "We will continue to apply political and economic pressure... we will continue to work with [China] and others to put the appropriate pressure on North Korea."
  • Trump's meeting with Ukrainian President: Spicer said the WH will continue to support sanctions on Russia until they exit Eastern Ukraine.

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Trump signs bill to prevent government shutdown

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel and President Trump arrives at the U.S. Capitol in March. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

President Trump signed a bill to extend current levels of government funding after funding expired briefly, White House spokesperson Judd Deere confirmed early Thursday.

Why it matters: The move averts a government shutdown before the Nov. 3 election. The Senate on Wednesday passed the legislation to fund the federal government through Dec. 11, by a vote of 84-10.

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In photos: Deadly wildfires devastate California's wine country

The Shady Fire ravages a home as it approaches Santa Rosa in Napa County, California, on Sept. 28. The blaze is part of the massive Glass Fire Complex, which has razed over 51,620 acres at 2% containment. Photo: Samuel Corum/Agence France-Presse/AFP via Getty Images

More than 1700 firefighters are battling 26 major blazes across California, including in the heart of the wine country, where one mega-blaze claimed the lives of three people and forced thousands of others to evacuate this week.

The big picture: More than 8,100 wildfires have burned across a record 39 million-plus acres, killing 29 people and razing almost 7,900 structures in California this year, per Cal Fire. Just like the deadly blazes of 2017, the wine country has become a wildfires epicenter. Gov. Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency in Napa, Sonoma, and Shasta counties.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 33,880,896 — Total deaths: 1,012,964 — Total recoveries: 23,551,663Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 7,232,823 — Total deaths: 206,887 — Total recoveries: 2,840,688 — Total tests: 103,939,667Map.
  3. Education: School-aged children now make up 10% of all U.S COVID-19 cases.
  4. Health: Moderna says its coronavirus vaccine won't be ready until 2021
  5. Travel: CDC: 3,689 COVID-19 or coronavirus-like cases found on cruise ships in U.S. waters — Airlines begin mass layoffs while clinging to hope for federal aid
  6. Business: Real-time data show economy's rebound slowing but still going.
  7. Sports: Steelers-Titans NFL game delayed after coronavirus outbreak.