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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

Former Sen. Bob Dole dies

Former Senator Bob Dole in 2019. Photo: Tom Brenner/Getty Images

Former Kansas Senator Leader Bob Dole passed away Sunday morning at the age of 98, the Elizabeth Dole Foundation announced in a statement.

Driving the news: Dole, a revered figure in U.S. politics and the Republican presidential nominee in 1996, served in the Senate for 27 years, including 11 years as GOP leader. Earlier this year he revealed he had been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer.

Movie theaters go out of style

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Vaccination rates are going up, people are going out to restaurants again — although the new COVID variant may get in the way — but they still aren't rushing back to the movies.

By the numbers: Some 49% of pre-pandemic moviegoers are no longer hitting theaters, according to a study from the film research company The Quorum, as reported by the New York Times.

5 hours ago - Health

Vaccine mandates lose steam in the U.S. while Europe doubles down

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

European countries are doubling down on pressure campaigns to get people vaccinated just as Republicans continue to wage war — often successfully — against vaccine mandates in the U.S.

Why it matters: The starkly different approaches create a sharp contrast between the regions' approaches to vaccination, even as the Omicron variant rapidly spreads around the world.