Jan 4, 2019

Trump confirms he's willing to keep government shut down for "years"

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Following a meeting with congressional leaders at the White House, President Trump confirmed to reporters that he said he would be willing to keep the government shut down for "a very long period of time, months or even years."

Why it matters: As Axios' Jonathan Swan reported last April, those who work most closely with Trump say he's a one-trick pony in negotiations. That trick is to threaten the outrageous, ratchet up the tension, amplify it with tweets and taunts, and then compromise on fairly conventional middle ground. Nonetheless, the White House and congressional leadership emerged from yet another meeting without a solution to the government shutdown.

The state of play: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said there is no way the government would reopen before Tuesday, since members would need to be in town to vote. The Senate has already adjourned and the House is out of session for the weekend. It's the 14th day of the shutdown.

What's next: While speaking in the Rose Garden, Trump said he has designated a working group to conduct more negotiations over the weekend. Trump said the group would be led by Vice President Mike Pence, while Fox News' Chad Pergram reports that Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and White House adviser Jared Kushner will be involved as well.

Go deeper: The government shutdown hasn't broken the record yet — but it could

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 932,605 — Total deaths: 46,809 — Total recoveries: 193,177Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 213,372 — Total deaths: 4,757 — Total recoveries: 8,474Map.
  3. Business updates: Very small businesses are bearing the brunt of the coronavirus job crisis.
  4. World update: Spain’s confirmed cases surpassed 100,000, and the nation saw its biggest daily death toll so far. More than 500 people were reported dead within the last 24 hours in the U.K., per Johns Hopkins.
  5. State updates: Florida and Pennsylvania are the latest states to issue stay-at-home orders — Michigan has more than 9,000 confirmed cases, an increase of 1,200 and 78 new deaths in 24 hours.
  6. Stock market updates: Stocks closed more than 4% lower on Wednesday, continuing a volatile stretch for the stock market amid the coronavirus outbreak.
  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.

World coronavirus updates: Spain's health care system overloaded

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

Two planes with protective equipment arrived to restock Spain’s overloaded public health system on Wednesday as confirmed cases surpassed 100,000 and the nation saw its biggest death toll so far, Reuters reports.

The big picture: COVID-19 cases surged past 900,000 and the global death toll surpassed 45,000 early Wednesday, per Johns Hopkins data. Italy has reported more than 12,000 deaths.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health

FBI sees record number of gun background checks amid coronavirus

Guns on display at a store in Manassas, Va. Photo: Yasin Ozturk / Anadolu Agency via Getty

The FBI processed a record 3.7 million gun background checks in March — more than any month previously reported, according to the agency's latest data.

Driving the news: The spike's timing suggests it may be driven at least in part by the coronavirus.