Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah said at his debut White House briefing that domestic abuse allegations against staff secretary Rob Porter are "serious and disturbing," and that the officials "could have done better" in handling the situation.

Why it matters: The White House has been criticized on its handling of the allegations against Porter and his resignation. Axios' Jonathan Swan reported on Wednesday that he was encouraged "to stay and fight." Chief of staff John Kelly released two statements regarding Porter: the first saying he was a "man of true integrity," and the second saying he was "shocked" by the allegations.

  • Shah said Kelly "became fully aware of these allegations [against Rob Porter] yesterday."
  • President Trump was "saddened" by the allegations: "He, like many of us, did not see that in Rob Porter."
  • When the allegations were made to the FBI about domestic abuse, Porter was "operating on an interim security clearance," and the background investigation had not been completed.
  • He said "the communications director [Hope Hicks]" recused herself from "some matters" regarding Porter.

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Bryan Walsh, author of Future
52 mins ago - Science

The murder hornets are here

A braver man than me holds a speciment of the Asian giant hornet. Photo: Karen Ducey/Getty Images

Entomologists in Washington state on Thursday discovered the first Asian giant hornet nest in the U.S.

Why it matters: You may know this insect species by its nom de guerre: "the murder hornet." While the threat they pose to humans has been overstated, the invading hornets could decimate local honeybee populations if they establish themselves.

Biden is highest-spending political candidate on TV ads

Joe Biden. Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

After spending an additional $45.2 million on political ads this week, former Vice President Joe Biden has become the highest-spending political candidate on TV ads ever, according to data from Advertising Analytics.

By the numbers: In total, the Biden campaign has spent $582.7 million on TV ads between 2019 and 2020, officially surpassing Michael Bloomberg's record spend of roughly $582 million. Biden's spend includes his primary and general election advertising.