In the first White House press briefing in 42 days, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders refused to directly answer whether President Trump believes Democrats hates Jews, following an Axios report that Trump made that comment in a speech to RNC donors this weekend.

NBC's Hallie Jackson: "Yes or no, does the president truly believe that Democrats hate Jews?
Sarah Sanders: "I am not going to comment on a potentially leaked document."
Jackson: "Does he think Democrats hate Jewish people as he said on the South Lawn?"
Sanders: "The president has laid out clearly his position on this matter. Democrats have had a number of opportunities to condemn specific comments and have refused to do that."
Jackson: "Does he really believe Democrats hate Jews? I'm just trying to get a sense of that."
Sanders: "I think that's a question you ought to ask the Democrats."

Other highlights:

  • China: Sanders said Trump has not set a date for talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago.
  • Personnel: Sanders would not comment on whether Trump would be nominating acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan to serve as the Pentagon’s secretary or whether acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney's role would become permanent. She also wouldn't comment on the White House's inquiry into Labor Secretary Alex Acosta's role in serial sex offender Jeffrey Epstein's sweetheart plea deal.
  • Paul Manafort: Sanders said Trump would make a decision on whether to pardon former campaign chairman Paul Manafort "when he's ready."

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Updated 27 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 19,193,661 — Total deaths: 716,735 — Total recoveries — 11,611,029Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 4,918,927 — Total deaths: 160,737 — Total recoveries: 1,598,624 — Total tests: 59,652,675Map.
  3. Politics: White House recommends Trump issue executive orders on coronavirus aid.
  4. Education: Cuomo says all New York schools can reopen for in-person learning.
  5. Public health: Surgeon general urges flu shots to prevent "double whammy" with coronavirus — Massachusetts pauses reopening after uptick in coronavirus cases
  6. World: Africa records over 1 million coronavirus cases — Gates Foundation puts $150 million behind coronavirus vaccine production.

Trump: "We are going a different way" on coronavirus aid

President Trump. Photo: Jim Watsonn/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump tweeted on Friday that his administration is "going a different way" with coronavirus aid after negotiations with congressional Democrats stalled again, suggesting he will use an executive order to address stimulus spending.

What he's saying: "Pelosi and Schumer only interested in Bailout Money for poorly run Democrat cities and states. Nothing to do with China Virus! Want one trillion dollars. No interest. We are going a different way!" Trump tweeted.

Trump's swift, sweeping China offensive

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump's rhetoric on China has tended to run hotter than his actions — until now.

Why it matters: Even at the height of Trump's trade war, his administration never hit China as hard, as fast, and on as many fronts as it is right now.