Mar 15, 2018

White House: We'll be tough on Russia until they change their behavior

Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP / Getty Images

Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Thursday that the U.S. will continue to be tough on Russia until they decide to change their behavior, pointing to today's sanctions as evidence that President Trump has been hard on the Kremlin.

“Russia is going to have to make that determination [whether they are a friend or a foe to the U.S.] .... They are going to have to decide if they are a good actor or a bad actor."
— Press Secretary Sarah Sanders

More highlights:

  • On FIU bridge collapse: "Our brave first responders are working feverishly to save lives. We will continue to monitor the situation closely, and offer whatever support is needed to the local officials and community."
  • On Mueller's subpoena of the Trump Organization: "There was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. For specific questions about the Trump Organization I would refer you to them."
  • On poison attack in the U.K.: Sanders reiterated that the U.S. "stands in solidarity" with the U.K. "We share the U.K.'s assessment that Russia was responsible for the attack."
  • On reports of more staff turnover: “The president wants to make sure he has the right people in the right place at the right time.”
  • On Trump's claim of a trade deficit with Canada: ""Well for one [the USTR] is not taking into account some of the additional things like energy and timber...I don't have that number right in front of me ... We would be happy to provide it."
    • Sanders later tweeted, "In 2017 we had a $17.58 B trade deficit. In January 2018 we had a$3.63 B trade deficit. Both reflect trade in goods. Which is exactly what @POTUS referenced."

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2:30 p.m. ET: 905,279 — Total deaths: 45,371 — Total recoveries: 190,710Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2:30 p.m. ET: 199,092 — Total deaths: 4,361 — Total recoveries: 8,362Map.
  3. Federal government latest: Vice President Mike Pence said that White House modeling suggests "Italy may be the most comparable area to the United States" in terms of coronavirus impact.
  4. State updates: Florida and Pennsylvania are the latest to issue stay-at-home orders, totaling 34 states and Washington, D.C.
  5. 2020 update: West Virginia is latest state to delay its primary — Bernie Sanders urged Wisconsin to delay April 7 primary.
  6.  🎧 Podcast: The Defense Production Act
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

West Virginia is latest state to delay primary due to coronavirus

Photo: Barbara Davidson/Getty Images

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice rescheduled the state's May 12 primary election to June 9 on Wednesday, citing fears surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, AP reports.

Why it matters: 23 other states and the District of Columbia haven't held primaries yet. The White House is recommending, for now, that Americans practice social distancing and gather in groups of no more than 10 people — while many states have issued stay-at-home orders.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Florida governor issues stay-at-home order

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered a statewide stay-at-home order on Wednesday after the number of coronavirus cases in the state rose to nearly 7,000.

Why it matters: DeSantis has been criticized for declining to order any statewide mandates to curb the spread of the coronavirus even as Florida — home to a significant elderly population — was increasingly becoming a hotspot. The order will go into effect Thursday at midnight and last for 30 days.