Jul 9, 2017

Priebus: Trump "absolutely did not believe" Putin's denial

Dave Lawler, author of World

Evan Vucci / AP

WH Chief of Staff Reince Priebus told Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace that President Trump "absolutely did not" take Vladimir Putin at his word when he denied Russia interfered in the U.S. election. Sums it up: Priebus alternated sentence to sentence whether Trump believes Russia "probably" interfered or "did" interfere.

The current position: "It doesn't mean they're off the hook, but what it mean is that we're not going to forgo progress simply because we have a disagreement in regards to this meddling in the United States election."

Priebus also said he has "no idea" why Donald Trump Jr, Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner decided to meet a Kremlin-connected lawyer during the election to discuss adoption, adding, "there was nothing to it, it was a 20 minute meeting."

Quote of the day: "He was a star in Hamburg, and no one can take that away."

Go deeper

HBCUs are missing from the discussion on venture capital's diversity

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Venture capital is beginning a belated conversation about its dearth of black investors and support of black founders, but hasn't yet turned its attention to the trivial participation of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) as limited partners in funds.

Why it matters: This increases educational and economic inequality, as the vast majority of VC profits go to limited partners.

Unemployment rate falls to 13.3% in May

Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. unemployment rate fell to 13.3% in May, with 2.5 million jobs gained, the government said on Friday.

Why it matters: The far better-than-expected numbers show a surprising improvement in the job market, which has been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic.

The difficulty of calculating the real unemployment rate

Data: U.S. Department of Labor; Note: Initial traditional state claims from the weeks of May 23 and 30, continuing traditional claims from May 23. Initial PUA claims from May 16, 23, and 30, continuing PUA and other programs from May 16; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The shocking May jobs report — with a decline in the unemployment rate to 13.3% and more than 2 million jobs added — destroyed expectations of a much worse economic picture.

Why it matters: Traditional economic reports have failed to keep up with the devastation of the coronavirus pandemic and have made it nearly impossible for researchers to determine the state of the U.S. labor market or the economy.