Lazaro Gamio / Axios

Sean Spicer again said that President Trump will "have an announcement shortly" on whether he taped his conversations with James Comey. Spicer also reaffirmed Trump's willingness to testify under oath on the Russia probe to Special Counsel Robert Mueller, but said he hasn't spoken with the president about whether he would testify before Congress, and wouldn't speculate as to if and when Trump will follow through. Briefing highlights:

  • What role did Sessions play in the firing of Comey? Spicer said he won't comment on conversations between the attorney general and the president.
  • Is Trump on board with Sessions testifying publicly? "He's going to testify. We're aware of it," said Spicer. He also said that it would be "premature" to state whether the WH would invoke executive privilege to recuse Sessions from answering certain questions.
  • On the 9th Circuit upholding the travel ban block: "We continue to be confident the [travel ban] is lawful...will be upheld by the Supreme Court."
  • On DC/Maryland emoluments lawsuit against Trump: "It's not hard to conclude there are partisan motivations behind today's lawsuit," said Spicer.

Details of Workforce Development Week from Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta:

  • Apprenticeships: The WH's Workforce Development Week is focused on increasing apprenticeships and skill-based learning "across most if not all industries," said Acosta. He notes that there are 360K job vacancies in manufacturing and 200K in construction for workers if they learned the required skills.
  • Student-focus: WH is pushing for "private-private partnerships" between colleges and companies, said Acosta. "Apprentices earn while they learn and... avoid substantial student debt that you see with higher education today."
  • Business backing: "I have spoken to several CEOs. Ivanka Trump has spoken to several CEOs, and there's excitement in the business sector," said Acosta. "Every CEO that I have spoke with has made a personal commitment to pursuing these."
  • Nod to Ivanka: Acosta repeatedly thanked Ivanka Trump for her efforts in launching the program.

Go deeper

Updated 26 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 33,642,602 — Total deaths: 1,007,769 — Total recoveries: 23,387,825Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 7,191,061 — Total deaths: 205,998 — Total recoveries: 2,813,305 — Total tests: 103,155,189Map.
  3. Health: Americans won't take Trump's word on the vaccine, Axios-Ipsos poll finds.
  4. Politics: 7 former FDA commissioners say Trump is undermining agency's credibility
  5. States: NYC's coronavirus positivity rate spikes to highest since June.
  6. Sports: Tennessee Titans close facility amid NFL's first coronavirus outbreak.
  7. World: U.K. beats previous record for new coronavirus cases.
  8. Work: United States of burnout — Asian American unemployment spikes amid pandemic

In photos: Deadly wildfires devastate California's wine country

The Shady Fire ravages a home as it approaches Santa Rosa in Napa County, California, on Sept. 28. The blaze is part of the massive Glass Fire Complex, which has razed 46,600 acres at 2% containment. Photo: Samuel Corum/Agence France-Presse/AFP via Getty Images

Some 18,700 firefighters are battling 27 major blazes across California, including in the heart of the wine country, where one mega-blaze claimed the lives of three people and forced thousands of others to evacuate this week.

The big picture: 8,155 wildfires have burned across a record 3.86 million acres, killing 26 people and razing almost 7,900 structures in California this year, per Cal Fire. Just like the deadly blazes of 2017, the wine country has become a wildfires epicenter. Gov. Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency in Napa, Sonoma, and Shasta counties.

Mike Allen, author of AM
Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

The first Trump v. Biden presidential debate was a hot mess

Photos: Jim Watson and Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

This debate was like the country: Everybody’s talking. Nobody’s listening. Nothing is learned. It’s a mess.

  • We were told President Trump would be savage. Turned out, that was a gross understatement. Even the moderator, Fox News' Chris Wallace, got bulldozed.

Why it matters: Honestly, who the hell knows?