White House officials have been telling us that the repair-and-replace bill is more fluid than House leaders are portraying, and now we know what they mean.

  • Trump, interviewed by Fox's Tucker Carlson in Detroit yesterday, said: "It's very preliminary ... A lot of things aren't consistent [with his campaign message of helping struggling workers]. But these are going to be negotiated. We've got to go to the Senate."
  • Axios' Jonathan Swan pointed out that the remarks are striking because Speaker Ryan regards the package as a nearly finished product, although aides say some tweaks were always planned.
  • Asked about a Bloomberg analysis with the headline, "Trump's Counties Lose Out to Clinton's in GOP Health Tax Cuts," Trump replied: "We will take care of our people or I'm not signing it, OK? Just so you understand. This is very preliminary."
  • "I'm, in a little way, I'm an arbitrator. ... We got a lot of fighting going on."

Be smart: Trump sees and fears the rising unpopularity of the Ryan plan and will gladly accept whatever changes needed to get it through Congress — or drop the entire thing if looks like a political loser weeks or months from now.

Go deeper

Updated 9 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 31,759,233 — Total deaths: 973,904 Total recoveries: 21,811,742Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 6,939,645 — Total deaths: 201,861 — Total recoveries: 2,646,959 — Total tests: 96,616,779Map.
  3. Health: CDC director says over 90% of Americans have not yet been exposed to coronavirus — Supply shortages continue to plague testing.
  4. Politics: Missouri Gov. Mike Parson tests positive for coronavirus — Poll says 51% of Republicans trust Trump on coronavirus more than the CDC.
  5. Technology: The tech solutions of 2020 may be sapping our resolve to beat the coronavirus
  6. Vaccines: Johnson & Johnson begins large phase 3 trial — The FDA plans to toughen standards.
  7. Sports: Less travel is causing the NBA to see better basketball.

Trump refuses to commit to peaceful transfer of power if he loses

President Trump repeatedly refused to say on Wednesday whether he would commit to a peaceful transition of power if he loses the election to Joe Biden, saying at a press briefing: "We're going to have to see what happens."

The big picture: Trump has baselessly claimed on a number of occasions that the only way he will lose the election is if it's "rigged," claiming — without evidence — that mail-in ballots will result in widespread fraud. Earlier on Wednesday, the president said he wants to quickly confirm a replacement for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg because he believes the Supreme Court may have to decide the result of the election.

"Not enough": Protesters react to no murder charges in Breonna Taylor case

A grand jury has indicted Brett Hankison, one of the Louisville police officers who entered Breonna Taylor's home in March, on three counts of wanton endangerment for firing shots blindly into neighboring apartments.

The state of play: Angering protesters, the grand jury did not indict any of the three officers involved in the botched drug raid on homicide or manslaughter charges related to the death of Taylor.

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