Sep 21, 2017

Spicer: I didn’t “knowingly” lie

Sean Spicer told ABC News' Paula Faris that he knows he "made mistakes" while serving under the Trump administration, but said some people have gone too far in criticizing him for them, such as by "questioning his integrity" and calling him a liar.

More quotes from the interview:

  • On his infamous statement on inauguration crowd size: "I could've probably had more facts at hand and been more articulate in describing... the entirety of what that day was about."
  • On the Russia probe: "There's an issue of executive privilege. And as long as that's not invoked, I will do everything to further... to do my part to further... this investigation coming to a swift conclusion."
  • On his Emmy performance: President Trump was "very supportive." "He thought I did a great job...It was very reassuring."
  • On media criticism: "I know that there are some folks that, no matter what we say or do...some folks in the media that wanted...[to] think that, you know, everything that we did was wrong and want some blanket apology — that's not happening."

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Coronavirus cases rise, as more Americans on cruise confirmed ill

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's NHC; Note: China refers to mainland China and the Diamond Princess is the cruise ship offshore Yokohama, Japan. Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

A U.S. public health official confirms more than 40 Americans on the Diamond Princess cruise ship off Japan have coronavirus, while the remaining U.S. citizens without symptoms are being evacuated.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 1,770 people and infected almost 70,000 others. Most cases and all but five of the deaths have occurred in mainland China. Taiwan confirmed its first death on Sunday, per multiple reports, in a 61-year-old man with underlying health conditions. Health officials were investigating how he became ill.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health

Scoop: Inside the Trump campaign's big hedge on Facebook

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The Trump campaign has invested most of its advertising budget to date on Facebook, testing thousands of versions of ads per day to maximize its spending.

But behind the scenes, a source familiar with the campaign tells Axios, the thinking has shifted: "As everyone can see, we still have strong spending on Facebook, but the percentage of our total media budget [on Facebook] is shrinking."

Trump's revenge tour has the House in its sights

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Saul Loeb/Getty Contributor

In the lead-up to the 2018 midterm elections — buoyed by Republican control of both chambers — President Trump viewed campaigning for the House as a lower-tier priority and instead poured his energy into rallying for the Senate.

But after the GOP reckoning in 2018, and experiencing firsthand how damaging a Democratic-led House has been to him, Trump is now personally invested in helping Republicans regain the majority in November, several people familiar with his thinking tell Axios.