Evan Vucci / AP

After a three week hiatus, Sarah Sanders was back at the podium briefing reporters Thursday. Asked about whether the White House is confident they'll raise the debt ceiling by the end of September, Sanders said the administration is "committed to making sure that gets raised," and added that Trump prefers a "clean" increase rather than having agenda items tied to it.

  • Will Trump shut down the government to fund the border wall? "[Trump] campaigned on the wall... and he's going to make sure that gets done." She later dodged questions on his earlier promise that Mexico would pay for it.
  • Trump's relationships with GOP leadership: "I think the relationships are fine."
  • On GOP Sen. Corker questioning whether Trump is fit for the WH: "I think that's a ridiculous and outrageous claim and doesn't dignify a response from this podium."
  • Afghanistan strategy: "[Trump's] strategy is based on conditions on the ground, not arbitrary timetables."
  • Timeline for pardoning Arpaio: "When we have an announcement on what that decision is, we'll let you know."
  • On dealing with Hurricane Harvey without a full-time DHS secretary: "There's certainly someone at the helm... We are in great shape having General Kelly sit next to the president."

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Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 18,187,396 — Total deaths: 691,352 — Total recoveries — 10,841,436Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 4,711,323 — Total deaths: 155,379 — Total recoveries: 1,513,446 — Total tests: 57,543,852Map.
  3. Politics: White House will require staff to undergo randomized coronavirus testing — Pelosi says Birx "enabled" Trump on misinformation.
  4. Sports: 13 members of St. Louis Cardinals test positive, prompting MLB to cancel Tigers series — Former FDA chief says MLB outbreaks should be warning sign for schools.
  5. 1 🎥 thing: "Tenet" may be the first major film to get a global pandemic release.

In photos: Thousands evacuated as Southern California fire grows

A plane makes a retardant drop on a ridge at the Apple Fire north of Banning in Riverside County, which "doubled in size" Saturday, per KTLA. Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

A massive wildfire that prompted mandatory evacuations in Southern California over the weekend burned 26,450 acres and was 5% contained by Monday afternoon, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said.

The big picture: As California remains an epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S., some 15 separate fires are raging across the state. About 7,800 people were under evacuation orders from the Apple Fire, about 75 miles east of Los Angeles, as hundreds of firefighters battled the blaze. CalFire said Monday that a malfunction involving a "diesel-fueled vehicle emitting burning carbon from the exhaust system" started the Apple Fire.

Twitter faces FTC fine of up to $250 million over alleged privacy violations

Photo: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket

The Federal Trade Commission has accused Twitter of using phone numbers and emails from its users to make targeted ads between 2013 and 2019, Twitter said in an SEC filing published Monday.

Why it matters: Twitter estimates that the FTC's draft complaint, which was sent a few days after its Q2 earnings report, could cost the company between $150 million and $250 million. The complaint is unrelated to the recent Twitter hack involving a bitcoin scam.