Apr 27, 2017

Spicer blames Dem "monkey wrenches" for shutdown hype

Lazaro Gamio / Axios

The Pentagon's investigation into foreign payments to former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn dominated a large portion of Thursday's briefing. Spicer said the probe was "appropriate" and that Trump made the right call to fire Flynn.

  • On whether Flynn was properly vetted: "Why would you re-run a background check on someone... that had and did maintain a high-level security clearance [under the Obama administration]?"
  • Trump's tax plan: Spicer originally said the plan would remove tax preferences for 401Ks, but the WH later clarified that 401K retirement savings plans would not be impacted by Trump's tax proposal.
  • On shutdown questions: "The Democrats at the last minute have come in and thrown a lot of monkey wrenches into the ability to get this done despite the president doing everything he can to show good faith."
  • Trump's NAFTA changes: The focus is on agriculture services, and some areas outside of NAFTA — like dairy.

Go deeper

Exclusive: Global trust in the tech industry is slipping

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The backlash against Big Tech has long flourished among pundits and policymakers, but a new survey suggests it's beginning to show up in popular opinion as well.

Driving the news: New data from Edelman out Tuesday finds that trust in tech companies is declining and that people trust cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence less than they do the industry overall.

"It was 30 years ago, get over it": Mike Bloomberg's partner brushes off NDA concerns

Diana Taylor at a Mike Bloomberg event last month. Photo: Ron Adar/Echoes Wire/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Diana Taylor, Mike Bloomberg's longtime partner, dismissed the concerns surrounding non-disclosure agreements used at his company, Bloomberg LP, telling CBS News that she would say to those bothered by the allegations, "It was 30 years ago, get over it."

Why it matters: Democratic candidates have used the NDAs as a talking point against Bloomberg, calling on him to allow women to speak about the reported sexual harassment and gender discrimination they faced while working for him.

Trump's opportunity to use Bernie as an economic scapegoat

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: Zach Gibson/Stringer, The Washington Post/Getty Contributor

Bernie Sanders is poised to become an economic scapegoat for both the White House and Corporate America, assuming that Sanders comes through Super Tuesday unscathed.

The big picture: If the U.S. economy remains strong, President Trump and CEOs will claim credit (as they've been doing for three years). If it turns sour, they'll blame Bernie (even though it's a largely baseless charge).