J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Paul Ryan seemed as in the dark as the rest of the country regarding the Senate GOP's plan for health care during his weekly press conference. When asked if a "skinny repeal" plan would actually fulfill the promises of the last seven years, he replied: "I'm going to reserve judgment until I see what the Senate actually produces…it's anybody's guess what they actually come out with."

  • Trump's transgender troop ban: "The DoD is reviewing this with the White House. I look forward to seeing what it is they produce."
  • On the White House palace intrigue: "I believe [Reince Priebus] has the president's confidence…I think Reince is doing a great job as chief of staff."
  • The Russia/Iran/NK sanctions bill: "[W]hat we're saying is we need to sanction these regimes because of what they've done."
  • Trump's tweets: "I don't read that stuff."

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Americans feel Trump's sickness makes him harder to trustFlorida breaks record for in-person early voting.
  2. Health: The next wave is gaining steam.
  3. Education: Schools haven't become hotspots.
  4. World: Ireland moving back into lockdown — Argentina becomes 5th country to report 1 million infections.

Meadows confirms Trump's tweets "declassifying" Russia documents were false

Photo: Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows confirmed in court on Tuesday that President Trump's tweets authorizing the disclosure of documents related to the Russia investigation and Hillary Clinton's emails "were not self-executing declassification orders," after a federal judge demanded that Trump be asked about his intentions.

Why it matters: BuzzFeed News reporter Jason Leopold cited the tweets in an emergency motion seeking to gain access to special counsel Robert Mueller's unredacted report as part of a Freedom of Information Act request. This is the first time Trump himself has indicated, according to Meadows, that his tweets are not official directives.

3 hours ago - World

China embraces hostage diplomacy

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Chinese government is threatening to detain foreign citizens unless their home governments do what Beijing demands. In some cases, China has already made good on those threats.

The big picture: This marks a potential evolution of China's "wolf warrior diplomacy" to outright rogue state behavior, putting it in the company of countries like North Korea and Iran, which have also engaged in hostage diplomacy.

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