Jun 20, 2017

Spicer doesn't know if Trump has seen the Senate health bill

Andrew Harnik / AP

Sean Spicer, who was back at the podium for his first on-camera briefing in 8 days, told reporters Tuesday that he didn't know whether President Trump, or anyone in the White House, has seen a draft of the Senate's health care bill yet — which is set for a vote in the coming weeks — but emphasized that Trump "clearly wants a bill that has heart in it." Spicer also deflected questions on why the Senate has been so secretive in crafting its bill, stating, "It's not our job to go in and dictate how they do it." Other takeaways:

  • On reports that he may be shifting to a new role within the administration: "I'm right here," joked Spicer, before adding, "we're always looking for ways of doing a better job of articulating the president's agenda." He later noted the communications director role is still open.
  • On lack of on-camera briefings: "The briefing is one aspect of what we do," said Spicer, contending that Trump and his staff are available to the press a "significant" amount compared to past administrations.
  • Does Trump believe Russia interfered in our elections? "I have not sat down and talked to him about that specifically," said Spicer.
  • Senate health care bill: "The president clearly wants a bill that has heart in it," said Spicer, but he still doesn't know if Trump, or anyone in the WH, has seen the bill yet.
  • On Senate being secretive in crafting health bill: "It's not our job to go in and dictate how they do it."
  • Hedging on Georgia race: "Historically, special elections don't generally foretell the outcome of races multiple years down the road... This is a district the President won by one point. It's obviously going to be competitive."
  • Potential North Korea travel ban: "I think the state department is mulling additional advisories, and I'll leave it to them."
  • Death of Otto Warmbier: "We will continue to apply political and economic pressure... we will continue to work with [China] and others to put the appropriate pressure on North Korea."
  • Trump's meeting with Ukrainian President: Spicer said the WH will continue to support sanctions on Russia until they exit Eastern Ukraine.

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In photos: Authorities issue warning as Americans venture out for Memorial Day weekend

Venice Beach in Los Angeles on May 24. Photo: David McNew/Getty Images

Authorities urged Americans to maintain social distancing and wear masks against the coronavirus amid reports of packed beaches and bars during the Memorial Day weekend.

Driving the news: Law enforcement stepped up beach patrols, authorities on Florida's Gulf Coast closed parking lots because they were full and there were crowded scenes at Lake of the Ozarks bars in Missouri, per AP, which reports a shooting injured several people at a packed Daytona Beach in Florida.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 p.m. ET: 5,405,029 — Total deaths: 344,997 — Total recoveries — 2,168,408Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 p.m. ET: 1,642,021 — Total deaths: 97,698 — Total recoveries: 366,736 — Total tested: 14,163,195Map.
  3. World: White House announces travel restrictions on Brazil, coronavirus hotspot in Southern Hemisphere Over 100 coronavirus cases in Germany tied to single day of church services — Boris Johnson backs top aide amid reports that he broke U.K. lockdown while exhibiting symptoms.
  4. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks headed into Memorial Day weekend Report finds "little evidence" coronavirus under control in most statesHurricanes, wildfires, the flu could strain COVID-19 response
  5. Economy: White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Public employees brace for layoffs.
  6. Federal government: Trump attacks a Columbia University study that suggests earlier lockdown could have saved 36,000 American lives.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Republicans sue California over mail-out ballot plan

California Gov. Gavin Newsom during a February news conference in Sacramento, California. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

President Trump accused Democrats of trying "Rig" November's general election as Republican groups filed a lawsuit against California Sunday in an attempt to stop Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) from mailing ballots to all registered voters.

Driving the news: Newsom signed an executive order this month in response to the coronavirus pandemic ensuring that all registered voters in the state receive a mail-in ballot.