Jun 8, 2017

Sanders: "No idea" if Trump has tapes

Evan Vucci / AP

Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters Thursday that she has "no idea" if President Trump records his Oval Office meetings. Meanwhile, former FBI Director James Comey said in a hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee that he hopes the president has tapes, and asked him to release them. Other takeaways:

  • Press briefing post-Comey: President Trump's outside counsel Marc Kasowitz will brief reporters after Comey's hearing.
  • Has Trump watched the hearing? "I don't know if he's seen much of it," said Sanders, noting he spent the morning meeting with Mattis, Tillerson, and McMaster.
  • Is Comey's testimony true? "I can definitively say the president is not a liar, and I think it's frankly insulting that that's asked."
  • Does Trump have confidence in Sessions? "Absolutely, the president has confidence in all of his cabinet." Note: The White House failed to answer this question for two straight days.

Go deeper

Coronavirus updates: First case in sub-Saharan Africa confirmed

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

Nigeria confirmed its first novel coronavirus case in an Italian who flew to Lagos from Milan — the first known case in sub-Saharan Africa. The World Health Organization has been working to prepare Africa's health care systems to be ready for the outbreak, which is now also confirmed in Algeria and Egypt.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,850 people and infected over 83,700 others in some 50 countries and territories. The novel coronavirus is now affecting every continent but Antarctica, and the WHO said Wednesday the number of new cases reported outside China has exceeded those inside the country for the first time.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health

Ad spending on 2020 primary tops $1 billion

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Spending on the 2020 presidential primary has officially surpassed the $1 billion mark, with more than half of that total coming from billionaire Michael Bloomberg, according to data from Advertising Analytics.

Why it matters: It's the most money that has been spent this early on in an election cycle in U.S. history.

The growing coronavirus recession threat

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

In just a matter of weeks, top economists and investment bank analysts have gone from expecting the coronavirus outbreak to have minimal impact on the U.S. economy to warning that an outright recession may be on the horizon.

What's happening: The spread of confirmed coronavirus cases in Europe, the Middle East and the U.S., and the speed at which they are being discovered has set the table for the outbreak to have a larger and much costlier impact.