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Photo: Chen Mengtong/China News Service/VCG via Getty Images

President Trump and his top officials touted in a speech Monday how America's air pollution has decreased 74% since 1970, citing data from the Environmental Protection Agency due out next week.

Reality check: That's true, but most of those reductions occurred long before Trump was in office. Since Trump entered the White House, the little data available show that some kinds of air pollution have plateaued, while a few have even increased, according to a preview of the report EPA posted Monday.

What they're saying: EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said on a conference call with reporters earlier Monday that it's important Americans know the air has gotten cleaner over the last 49 years, not dirtier as some news coverage suggests.

For the record: Michael Abboud, an EPA spokesman, said by email that the agency expects a downward trend in pollution but that some is higher "due to wildfires and other meteorological conditions."

The big picture: Trump is taking credit for actions of earlier administrations — common for presidents of either party to do on various issues. But in this case it's a stark contrast to Trump's main focus at the EPA and other similarly focused agencies: Repealing almost everything President Obama did on environmental and climate change issues.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
4 mins ago - Economy & Business

Trump's volatile return to the stock market

Expand chart
Data: YCharts; Chart: Axios Visuals 

Donald Trump this week became both a meme stock and a social-media entrepreneur at the same time, by announcing that a new company called Trump Media & Technology Group was going to merge with an existing company listed on the stock market.

Why it matters: The medium-term promise of Trump's media company is that it will replace Twitter for anybody wanting to keep track of Trump's messages. The short-term promise is that it can be a hot new speculative vehicle for people wanting to get rich quick in the stock market.

Updated 10 hours ago - World

U.S. airstrike kills senior al-Qaeda leader in Syria, DOD says

A displacement camp near the village of Qah in Syria's northwestern Idlib province. Photo: Ahmad Al-Atrash/AFP via Getty Images

A U.S. airstrike in northwest Syria on Friday killed senior al-Qaeda leader Abdul Hamid al-Matar, U.S. Central Command said in a statement.

Why it matters: Syria serves as a "safe haven" for the extremist group to plan external operations, according to U.S. Army Maj. John Rigsbee.

Updated 15 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Giuliani associate Lev Parnas convicted of campaign finance crimes

Lev Parnas, a former associate of then-President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Florida businessman Lev Parnas was convicted Friday on charges of conspiracy to make foreign contributions to political campaigns, according to multiple outlets.

Why it matters: Prosecutors said Parnas, then an associate of former President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, funneled over $150,000 from a Russian businessman into U.S. campaigns as part of an effort to land licenses in the U.S.'s legal cannabis industry.