May 21, 2017

McMaster won't say whether Trump raised election meddling with Russia

Susan Walsh / AP

National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster joined ABC's "This Week" from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and was grilled by George Stephanopoulos about the meeting with Russian officials earlier this month in which President Trump reportedly disparaged James Comey and said his firing had eased pressure from the Russia probe. Key takeaways:

  • McMaster twice declined to say whether Trump confronted the officials about Russian interference in the election.
  • He acknowledged Trump discussed Comey's firing though he said the notes printed by the N.Y. Times may not be direct quotes. He said Trump had been trying to make a point about being "hamstrung" in his efforts to deal with Russia because of the investigation.
  • He said the FBI investigation did not come up when they were preparing for the meeting, suggesting Trump was improvising when he raised it.

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More states issue stay-at-home orders as coronavirus crisis escalates

Data: Axios reporting; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey issued a stay-at-home order on Friday as the novel coronavirus pandemic persists. The order goes into effect Saturday at 5 p.m. and will remain in place through April 30.

The big picture: In a matter of weeks, the number of states that issued orders nearly quadrupled, affecting almost 300 million Americans.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 5 mins ago - Health

White House recommends Americans wear masks in public

New Yorker wearing a homemade face covering. Photo: Selcuk Acar/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The White House announced that the CDC is recommending Americans wear cloth masks or face coverings in public to help stop the spread of the coronavirus, President Trump said at a press briefing on Friday — emphasizing the guidance is "voluntary."

Why it matters: The use of face coverings could stop people who have the virus, whether they have symptoms or not, from spreading it further when they go out in public.

Trump calls to fill up more places with oil

President Trump is calling on the Energy Department to find more places to store oil, in the wake of rock-bottom prices and an ensuing economic collapse of the sector itself.

Driving the news: Trump’s comments came Friday during a televised portion of a meeting he hosted with industry CEOs to discuss ways to help the sector. It’s reeling from a historic drop-off in demand with the world shutting down to slow the spread of the coronavirus.