President Trump tweeted on Friday that his administration is "going a different way" with coronavirus aid after negotiations with congressional Democrats stalled again, suggesting he will use an executive order to address stimulus spending.
What he's saying: "Pelosi and Schumer only interested in Bailout Money for poorly run Democrat cities and states. Nothing to do with China Virus! Want one trillion dollars. No interest. We are going a different way!" Trump tweeted.
President Trump's rhetoric on China has tended to run hotter than his actions — until now.
Why it matters: Even at the height of Trump's trade war, his administration never hit China as hard, as fast, and on as many fronts as it is right now.
Jerry Falwell Jr. will take an “indefinite leave of absence” from his roles as president and chancellor of Liberty University after posting a photo of himself with unzipped pants and an arm around a woman on social media, according to the school.
The state of play: The picture, which has since been deleted, drew backlash and charges of hypocrisy from conservative political figures because the university's honor code strictly prohibits students from having "sexual relations outside of a biblically-ordained marriage," and recommends they dress with“appropriateness” and “modesty."
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said President Trump should sign executive orders unilaterally addressing coronavirus stimulus spending after negotiations with congressional Democrats stalled again on Friday.
Why it matters: Friday was viewed as a self-imposed deadline to negotiate a new relief bill. But after an intense week of negotiations on Capitol Hill, White House and Democratic leadership failed to reach a deal on delivering much needed aid to Americans and businesses.
National Counterintelligence and Security Center Director William Evanina said Friday that the Russian government is "using a range of measures" to "denigrate former Vice President Biden" before the November election.
Why it matters: Evanina warned that some Kremlin-linked actors are trying to support President Trump’s candidacy on social media and Russian television, while others are spreading false claims about corruption to undermine Biden and the Democratic Party.
U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams on Friday stressed the importance of Americans getting flu vaccines for the next influenza season, noting that the country has "been backsliding in terms of vaccine confidence over the last several years."
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday that all school districts across the state can choose to reopen for in-person learning because it has so far maintained low enough coronavirus transmission rates.
Why it matters: It’s another sign that the state, once the global epicenter of the pandemic, has — at least for now — successfully curbed the spread of the virus even as infections have surged elsewhere around the country.
A D.C. appeals court on Friday allowed House Democrats to continue their case for testimony from former White House counsel Don McGahn before the House Judiciary Committee.
Why it matters: The ruling has broader implications beyond this specific instance, agreeing that Congress has the standing to sue to enforce subpoenas against executive branch officials even if the White House refuses to comply.
The state of play: Congressional Democrats and Republicans remain miles apart on stimulus talks as the August recess looms. Schumer and Pelosi have argued for another massive package while Republicans eye a more pared-back solution — and President Trump has threatened executive action amid the logjam.
Anthony Fauci declined to tell the Washington Post on Friday if mail-in voting should be used as a public health measure amid the coronavirus pandemic, saying his statement would "almost certainly ... be used as a soundbite."
Why it matters: Fauci said he didn't want the media to set up another confrontation between him and President Trump, but it highlights how government medical experts have often found themselves in politically contentious situations when dealing with issues like reopening schools, mask mandates or the upcoming election.
TikTok has become a Rorschach test for how U.S. politicians view China, with little consensus on the specifics of its threat to homeland security.
The big picture: Much of what D.C. fears about TikTok is fear itself, and that's reflected in President Trump's executive order to ban the app by Sept. 20 if it's not sold by parent company ByteDance — alongside another focused on Chinese messaging app WeChat and its parent company Tencent.
The Treasury Department on Friday placed sanctions on Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam, following months of tension as she has allowed continued overreach by Beijing to subvert Hong Kong's autonomy.
Why it matters: It's the toughest sanction yet imposed on China for its destruction of Hong Kong’s relatively free political system.
President Trump escalated his campaign to claw apart the Chinese and American tech worlds Thursday evening, issuing executive orders that threaten to ban both TikTok and massive global messaging app WeChat.
The big picture: Trump's orders come against a backdrop of heightening tension with China, the steady unfolding of a hard "decoupling" between the world's two largest economies, and the Trump campaign's effort to wave a "tough on China" banner.
The White House is finalizing a series of executive orders addressing key coronavirus stimulus priorities if negotiations with Congress fall apart, and it's leaving the door open for President Trump to use them even if a deal is reached that doesn't encompass all of his priorities, two administration officials tell Axios.
What we’re hearing: “I wouldn't be surprised that, if something gets left off the table, we’d be like ‘we can take this executive action too and be able to win on it anyway,’” one official said.
Why it matters: TikTok argued that Trump's move "risks undermining global businesses' trust in the United States' commitment to the rule of law, which has served as a magnet for investment and spurred decades of American economic growth."
President George W. Bush will be out with a new book, "Out of Many, One: Portraits of America’s Immigrants," on March 2 that includes his paintings of 43 Americans who "exemplify ... our proud history as a nation of immigrants."
What they're saying: The president writes in the introduction, "While I recognize that immigration can be an emotional issue, I reject the premise that it is a partisan issue. It is perhaps the most American of issues, and it should be one that unites us."
Looking ahead to Joe Biden's announcement of a female running mate, a group of women leaders sent a letter Friday to top news executives to warn them against "stereotypes and tropes" in coverage.
What they're saying: "Our country — and your newsrooms — have learned a lot since the killing of George Floyd and the subsequent protests for racial equality that his death spurred," the letter says.
After two gaffes and a low blow from President Trump questioning his faith, Joe Biden spent Thursday evening off his own message — clarifying comments and responding to attacks.
Why it matters: Biden’s responses reflect what we could see a lot more of in the next few months — cringeworthy comments and Trump smears, smacking into each other and pulling the Democrat off course.
The coronavirus has sent overall U.S. unemployment into the double digits — but it's a sort of full-employment act for election law attorneys.
The big picture: The prospect of extended court fights over COVID-19-related voting changes, an absentee ballot avalanche, foreign interference and contested presidential results has prompted a hire-all-the-lawyers binge by candidates and campaigns — not just in swing states but around the country.
President Trump signed an executive order Thursday that would require the federal government to buy "essential medicines" and certain medical supplies from American manufacturing plants.
The big picture: Similar to Trump's recent executive orders that target drug prices, it's unclear how much this policy would change the drug and device supply chain, and there are several loopholes.
The three biggest anti-Joe Biden storylines in right-wing media over the last year have either fizzled or are getting less online traction than they used to, according to data from NewsWhip provided exclusively to Axios.
Why it matters: This dynamic has rendered a formidable media ecosystem less effective in boosting President Trump as we move into the heart of the 2020 campaign.
Joe Biden explained on Twitter Thursday night what he "meant" by earlier comments suggesting that "the African American community is a monolith."
What they're saying: "Unlike the African American community, with notable exceptions, the Latino community is an incredibly diverse community with incredibly different attitudes about different things," Biden remarked in an interview hosted by the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and the National Association for Black Journalists, Politico reports.
Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales was demoted on Thursday after an oversight board questioned his reported orders for officers to use tear gas and pepper spray against protesters demonstrating over the police killing of George Floyd, AP reports.
Why it matters: Police departments across the U.S. have faced increased scrutiny over how they respond to protests in the aftermath of Floyd's death. Many police chiefs have left their jobs as pressure for law enforcement to reform mounts, AP writes. The Justice Department sent federal agents to combat a "surge of violent crime" in U.S. cities, including Milwaukee, starting last month.
Former U.S. Ambassador to Japan Bill Hagerty won the Tennessee Republican Senate primary on Thursday evening, beating out surgeon Manny Sethi for GOP Sen. Lamar Alexander's seat, who announced his retirement in late 2018, AP reports.