Alex Brandon / AP

President Trump called President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey on Monday to congratulate him on the results of Sunday's referendum that will see him gain sweeping new powers, CNN Turk and Reuters reported on Monday.

The backdrop: The opposition is demanding a recount after reports of irregularities and international monitors have said the vote was not "genuinely democratic," while allies like the U.K. have expressed concerns. Sean Spicer said the White House would wait for a full report before drawing conclusions.

Why it matters: As we saw with the Taiwan/China controversy, it sends a message when the US president calls a foreign leader. If Trump did offer Erdogan congratulations when many in the West are eyeing him with suspicion he may strengthen the US/Turkey alliance, but send a message that democratic principles are not his top consideration.

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Updated 54 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Americans feel Trump's sickness makes him harder to trustFlorida breaks record for in-person early voting.
  2. Health: The next wave is gaining steam.
  3. Education: Schools haven't become hotspots.
  4. World: Ireland moving back into lockdown — Argentina becomes 5th country to report 1 million infections.

Meadows confirms Trump's tweets "declassifying" Russia documents were false

Photo: Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows confirmed in court on Tuesday that President Trump's tweets authorizing the disclosure of documents related to the Russia investigation and Hillary Clinton's emails "were not self-executing declassification orders," after a federal judge demanded that Trump be asked about his intentions.

Why it matters: BuzzFeed News reporter Jason Leopold cited the tweets in an emergency motion seeking to gain access to special counsel Robert Mueller's unredacted report as part of a Freedom of Information Act request. This is the first time Trump himself has indicated, according to Meadows, that his tweets are not official directives.

2 hours ago - World

China embraces hostage diplomacy

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Chinese government is threatening to detain foreign citizens unless their home governments do what Beijing demands. In some cases, China has already made good on those threats.

The big picture: This marks a potential evolution of China's "wolf warrior diplomacy" to outright rogue state behavior, putting it in the company of countries like North Korea and Iran, which have also engaged in hostage diplomacy.