Andrew Harnik / AP

Sean Spicer repeatedly declined to say President Trump has confidence in Attorney General Jeff Sessions — after Trump's tweets yesterday questioning key Justice Dept. decisions — saying instead that he had not discussed the matter with Trump. Key takeaways from his Tuesday briefing:

  • Will Trump watch Comey's testimony? "The president has a full day Thursday."
  • Can Trump's tweets be considered official WH statements? "They are considered official statements by the president of the United States."
  • On Qatar's diplomatic crisis: "This issue is not new. There's been tension among Qatar's neighbors for quite some time."
  • On health care reform stalling in the Senate: "We just don't have time to waste. Obamacare continues to collapse."
  • On the alleged leaking a confidential NSA document by contractor Reality Winner: "While I don't want to comment on any specific case or allegation, I think it's important to note that any disclosure of classified information is a threat to national security."

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At least 50 killed, 3,000 injured after massive explosion rocks Beirut

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A major explosion has slammed central Beirut, Lebanon, damaging buildings as far as several miles away and injuring scores of people.

Driving the news: The cause of the explosion is unknown. Lebanon's health minister said in televised remarks that more than 50 people have been killed and over 3,000 injured.

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The debate over COVID-19 liability protections

Stimulus talks continue to move slowly, with Democrats and Republicans unable to agree on whether or not to include coronavirus-related liability protections for businesses, health facilities and schools.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 18,364,694 — Total deaths: 695,848 — Total recoveries — 10,965,634Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 4,742,277 — Total deaths: 156,133 — Total recoveries: 1,513,446 — Total tests: 57,543,852Map.
  3. States: New York City health commissioner resigns in protest of De Blasio's coronavirus response — New York ER doctor on pandemic advice: "We know what works"
  4. Public health: 59% of Americans support nationwide 2-week stay-at-home order in NPR poll Atrium Health CEO says "virtual hospital" has treated 13,000 COVID patients.
  5. Politics: Republicans push to expand small business loan program Trump tells "Axios on HBO" that pandemic is "under control," despite surges in infections.
  6. Sports: Indy 500 to be held without fansRafael Nadal opts out of U.S. Open.