Jun 11, 2019

Pence defends ban on Pride flags flying on U.S. embassy flagpoles

Vice President Mike Pence. Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Vice President Mike Pence defended a State Department ban on flying the rainbow flag on U.S. embassy flagpoles during the LGBTQ Pride Month of June, telling NBC News Monday night "it's the right decision."

Details: Asked whether the policy "runs counter" to President Trump's tweet supporting Pride Month, Pence said: "We both feel that way very passionately, but when it comes to the American flagpole, and American embassies, and capitals around the world, one American flag flies."

The big picture: The vice president — who has a history of taking a stance against LGBTQ rights largely on the grounds of religious freedom — told NBC News there were "no restrictions" on rainbow flags being displayed elsewhere on American embassy premises.

Go deeper: U.S. embassies find loopholes to celebrate Pride Month

Go deeper

SoftBank to cut its stake to get T-Mobile's Sprint deal done

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

T-Mobile and Sprint announced a revised merger agreement that will see SoftBank getting a smaller share of the combined company, while most shareholders will receive the previously agreed upon exchange rate. The companies said they hope to get the deal as early as April 1.

Why it matters: The amended deal reflects the decline in Sprint's business, while leaving most shareholders' stake intact and removing another hurdle to the deal's closure.

Trump indulges Wall Street with Milken pardon

Photo Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Donald Trump loves Wall Street shenanigans. Companies owned by him have declared bankruptcy six different times, and he was once sued alongside Mike Milken for participating in a scheme to artificially inflate junk-bond prices.

Driving the news: Trump pardoned Milken this week, with an official statement positively gushing over Milken's role in developing the wilder side of fixed-income capital markets.