Apr 3, 2017

The highlights from Spicer's Monday briefing

Lazaro Gamio / Axios

Spicer opened the briefing by announcing that Trump will donate his salary from the first quarter of 2017 to the National Park Service. Other takeaways:

  • Russia attack: The WH extends their condolences, and the U.S. is prepared to help investigate the attacks. Trump and Putin haven't spoken yet.
  • Kushner's Iraq visit: "It's not a binary choice," Spicer said of Kushner going rather than Rex Tillerson. Added that Kushner will be briefed on military efforts while there.
  • On Susan Rice: "I don't want to get into motives," said Spicer of Rice's reported request for the names of Trump associates caught up in surveillance.
  • H1B visa program: Spicer acknowledged there are problems with the program, but said Trump will enforce the law.
  • Trump's pricey Mar-a-Lago visits: Spicer said Trump has "walked away from a lot" financially to be president, and pointed to Trump's $78k salary donation. "At what point does he do enough?"

Go deeper

SoftBank to cut its stake to get T-Mobile's Sprint deal done

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

T-Mobile and Sprint announced a revised merger agreement that will see SoftBank getting a smaller share of the combined company, while most shareholders will receive the previously agreed upon exchange rate. The companies said they hope to get the deal as early as April 1.

Why it matters: The amended deal reflects the decline in Sprint's business, while leaving most shareholders' stake intact and removing another hurdle to the deal's closure.

Trump indulges Wall Street with Milken pardon

Photo Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Donald Trump loves Wall Street shenanigans. Companies owned by him have declared bankruptcy six different times, and he was once sued alongside Mike Milken for participating in a scheme to artificially inflate junk-bond prices.

Driving the news: Trump pardoned Milken this week, with an official statement positively gushing over Milken's role in developing the wilder side of fixed-income capital markets.