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Alex Brandon / AP

Sean Spicer, who returned to the podium for the first time since June 26, kicked off today's off-camera briefing by touting the administration's "Made in America Week." Yet when asked if this week's White House theme means that the Trump Organization and Ivanka Trump brands will commit to making products in the U.S., Spicer said he felt it was "inappropriate" to comment on their businesses, and added that in certain cases, "the supply chains and scalability" are not always available in the U.S.

Highlights from the off-camera briefing:

  • Trump Jr. meeting: "There was nothing as far as we know that would lead anyone to believe that there was anything except for discussion about adoption".
  • DNC collusion: Spicer claimed that the Trump campaign didn't collude with Russia, but Democrats did collude with the Ukrainian government, for taking a meeting at the Ukrainian embassy.
  • GOP health bill: "We have every confidence in the Majority Leader's ability to get this done."
  • Does Trump still have confidence in lawyer Marc Kasowitz, who recently apologized for his emails threatening a stranger? He does.
  • Iran deal: Sec. of State Tillerson will make an announcement on the Iran deal re-certification today. Spicer added that the administration believes Iran is meeting its obligations under the nuclear deal.

One fun thing: Upon arriving, Spicer apologized for being roughly 30 minutes late. One reporter said, "We've missed you, Sean." And Spicer replied, "I missed you too."

Go deeper

3 hours ago - Health

Food banks feel the strain without holiday volunteers

People wait in line at Food Bank Community Kitchen on Nov. 25 in New York City. Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Food Bank For New York City

America's food banks are sounding the alarm during this unprecedented holiday season.

The big picture: Soup kitchens and charities, usually brimming with holiday volunteers, are getting far less help.

5 hours ago - Health

AstraZeneca CEO: "We need to do an additional study" on COVID vaccine

Photo: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said on Thursday the company is likely to start a new global trial to measure how effective its coronavirus vaccine is, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: Following Phase 3 trials, Oxford and AstraZeneca said their vaccine was 90% effective in people who got a half dose followed by a full dose, and 62% effective in people who got two full doses.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus cases rose 10% in the week before Thanksgiving.
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York coronavirus restrictions.
  3. World: Expert says COVID vaccine likely won't be available in Africa until Q2 of 2021 — Europeans extend lockdowns.
  4. Economy: The winners and losers of the COVID holiday season.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.