Lazaro Gamio / Axios

Former acting A.G. Sally Yates' testimony yesterday on Michael Flynn dominated today's briefing. When asked why Trump waited 18 days to fire Flynn following Yates' warnings, Spicer suggested that the administration didn't want to "jump the gun" on what Yates said since she is "a political opponent of the president." He also noted that Flynn had "an honorable career... the president doesn't want to smear a good man."

Other takeaways:

  • On Sally Yates: Spicer said the administration was skeptical of Yates since she was "widely rumored" to be a "strong supporter" of Hillary Clinton.
  • Yates on Trump travel ban: Spicer said Yates' decision not to defend Trump's travel ban vindicated the WH's decision to not tell her of the ban ahead of time, as well as their mistrust of her.
  • On the long delay between finding out Flynn misled the VP and his resignation: Meetings between Flynn and chief of staff/VP, no known restrictions on his access, WH wanted to make sure "we were doing the right thing."
  • What would winning in Afghanistan mean to Trump? Reducing the threat when it comes to ISIS and the Taliban.
  • How will sending 3,000 more troops to Afghanistan end the war when 100,000 didn't? "That's a very Washington question."
  • On arming Syrian Kurds to help defeat ISIS: "The president has authorized the Office of Defense to equip Kurdish elements."
  • Paris Climate Agreement: Trump won't be making an announcement on the Paris agreement until after he returns from the G7 summit, said Spicer. He wants to meet with his environmental team first.
  • Crown prince of United Arab Emirates will visit the WH on May 15.

Go deeper

Updated 28 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 a.m. ET: 11,856,991 — Total deaths: 544,871 — Total recoveries — 6,473,170Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 a.m. ET: 2,996,333 — Total deaths: 131,481 — Total recoveries: 936,476 — Total tested: 36,878,106Map.
  3. Public health: Deaths are rising in hotspots — Déjà vu sets in as testing issues rise and PPE dwindles.
  4. Travel: How the pandemic changed mobility habits, by state.
  5. 🎧Podcast: A misinformation "infodemic" is here.

Facebook auditors say it's failing on civil rights

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The findings from a new civil rights audit commissioned and released by Facebook show that the tech giant repeatedly failed to address issues of hatred, bigotry and manipulation on its platform.

Why it matters: The report comes as Facebook confronts a growing advertiser boycott and criticism for prioritizing freedom of speech over limiting misinformation and protecting users targeted by hate speech.

1 hour ago - Sports

Sports in the coronavirus era might need an asterisk

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

American sports leagues are back, and COVID-permitting, we're finally entering the period of uninterrupted sports bliss we've been anticipating for months.

The question: Given the unusual circumstances, it's worth considering how each season will be remembered years from now. So we pose the question: Do sports in 2020 need an asterisk?