White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders defended immigration authorities who are separating parents from their children caught entering the country illegally explaining it's "very biblical to enforce the law" and pointed blame on Democrats who refuse to "close the immigration loophole."

Between the lines: Last week, President Trump falsely claimed that the current practice stems from a "law" passed by Democrats. The administration made the decision as part of its "zero-tolerance" policy on illegal immigration.

The details: In an heated exchange with a reporter, Sanders repeatedly said it's the law to separate immigrant children and from their parents. Her remarks came in defense to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who earlier Thursday, during a speech to law enforcement officers cited the Bible to justify the zero-tolerance border policy.

On Trump praising Kim: Holding a formal press conference for the first time since the Trump-Kim summit, Sanders responded to criticism over Trump hailing North Korean leader Kim Jong-un as a "smart"and who "loves his people" saying he "hasn't down-played Kim's human rights offenses against his citizens. She said Trump had brought up the issue at the summit.

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Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 20,755,406 — Total deaths: 752,225— Total recoveries: 12,917,934Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 5,246,760 — Total deaths: 167,052 — Total recoveries: 1,774,648 — Total tests: 64,831,306Map.
  3. Politics: House Democrats to investigate scientist leading "Operation Warp Speed" vaccine projectMcConnell announces Senate will not hold votes until Sept. 8 unless stimulus deal is reached.
  4. 2020: Biden calls for 3-month national mask mandateBiden and Harris to receive coronavirus briefings 4 times a week.
  5. States: Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp to drop lawsuit over Atlanta's mask mandate.
  6. Business: Why the CARES Act makes 2020 the best year for companies to lose money.
  7. Public health: Fauci's guidance on pre-vaccine coronavirus treatments Cases are falling, but don't get too comfortable.

Trump says he intends to give RNC speech on White House lawn

President Trump speaking to reporters on South Lawn in July. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

President Trump told the New York Post on Thursday that he plans to deliver his Republican National Convention speech from the White House lawn, despite bipartisan criticism of the optics and legality of the location.

Why it matters: Previous presidents avoided blurring staged campaign-style events — like party conventions — with official business of governing on the White House premises, per Politico.

Fauci's guidance on pre-vaccine coronavirus treatments

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Antibody drugs and various medicine cocktails against the coronavirus are progressing and may provide some relief before vaccines.

The big picture: Everyone wants to know how and when they can return to "normal" life, as vaccines are not expected to be ready for most Americans for at least a year. Two therapies are known to be helpful, and more could be announced by late September, NIAID Director Anthony Fauci tells Axios.