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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."

Go deeper

N.Y. Times faces culture clashes as business booms

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

New York Times columnist David Brooks' resignation from a paid gig at a think tank on Saturday is the latest in a flurry of scandals that America's biggest and most successful newspaper company has endured in the past year.

Driving the news: Brooks resigned from the Aspen Institute following a BuzzFeed News investigation that uncovered conflicts of interest between his reporting and money he accepted from corporate donors for a project called "Weave" that he worked on at the nonprofit.

America rebalances its post-Trump news diet

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Nearly halfway through President Biden's first 100 days, data shows that Americans are learning to wean themselves off of news — and especially politics.

Why it matters: The departure of former President Trump's once-ubiquitous presence in the news cycle has reoriented the country's attention.

2021 sees a record number of bills targeting trans youth

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Republicans in at least 25 states have introduced over 60 bills targeting transgender children — a legislative boom since January that has beaten 2020's total number of anti-trans bills.

Why it matters: LGBTQ advocates say the unprecedented push was catalyzed by backlash to Biden's election and the Supreme Court ruling that workers cannot be fired for being gay or transgender.