Vice President Mike Pence with Axios' Mike Allen. Photo: Chuck Kennedy

Quick hits from the Axios interview Wednesday with Vice President Mike Pence.

  • On North Korea: Pence said the nation is "the most tyrannical and oppressive regime on the planet," and that nothing changes in the U.S.' approach until they get rid of their nuclear weapons.
  • On seeing Kim Yo-jung at the Olympics: "I didn't avoid the dictator's sister. But I did ignore her...I didn't believe it was proper for the USA to giver her any attention in that forum."
  • On Rob Porter: "As I said, and as the White House has said, I think the White House could have handled this better. And I still feel that way."
  • On chief of staff John Kelly's handling of Porter: "John Kelly has done a remarkable job as chief of staff...and I look forward to continuing to work with him for many, many months to come."
  • On special counsel Robert Mueller: Pence said the investigation isn't "something I spend a lot of time thinking about," but that the White House has "been fully cooperating with the Special Counsel, and I can assure you that we will continue to."
  • Pence said the U.S. intelligence communities have concluded that none of Russia's efforts "had any impact on the outcome of the 2016 election." That isn't exactly true.
  • On Joy Behar's remarks about his faith on The View: "To have ABC maintain a broadcast forum that compared Christianity to mental illness is just wrong...It demonstrates how out of touch same in the main stream media are with the faith and values of the American people."

Go deeper

5 hours ago - Health

Fauci says if people won't wear masks, maybe it should be mandated

Anthony Fauci. Photo: Graeme Jennings- Pool/Getty Images

NIAID director Anthony Fauci told CNN on Friday evening that if "people are not wearing masks, then maybe we should be mandating it."

Why it matters: Fauci made the comments the same day the U.S. hit its highest daily COVID-19 case count since the pandemic began.

Harris to Black voters: Casting a ballot is about honoring your ancestors

Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris speaks at a "Get Out The Vote" rally at Morehouse College. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Kamala Harris appealed to Black voters in Georgia on Friday, urging them to "honor the ancestors" by casting ballots, and again calling President Trump a "racist."

Why it matters: The U.S. saw a significant decline in African-American voter turnout between 2012 and 2016, reaching its lowest point since 2000. Higher turnout among Black Americans this year could tip the balance in favor of Democrats in key battleground states, including Georgia.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Fauci: Trump hasn't been to a COVID task force meeting in months.
  2. Sports: The youth sports exodus continues — Big Ten football is back.
  3. Health: U.S. hits highest daily COVID-19 case count since pandemic began —AstraZeneca to resume vaccine trial in U.S.How to help save 130,000 lives.
  4. Retail: Santa won't greet kids at Macy's this year.
  5. World: Spain and France exceed 1 million cases.