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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

CDC lets child migrant shelters fill to 100% despite COVID concern

Intensive care tents at overflow shelter in Carrizo Springs, Texas. Photo: Sergio Flores/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control is allowing shelters handling child migrants who cross the U.S.-Mexico border to expand to full capacity, abandoning a requirement that they stay near 50% to inhibit the spread of the coronavirus, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: The fact that the country's premier health advisory agency is permitting a change in COVID-19 protocols indicates the scale of the immigration crisis. A draft memo obtained by Axios conceded "facilities should plan for and expect to have COVID-19 cases."

8 Senate Democrats vote against adding $15 minimum wage to COVID relief

Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Eight Democratic senators on Friday voted against Sen. Bernie Sanders' amendment to ignore a ruling by the Senate parliamentarian and add a $15 minimum wage provision to the $1.9 trillion COVID relief package.

The state of play: The vote was held open for hours on Friday afternoon — even after every senator had voted — due to a standoff in negotiations over the next amendments that the Senate will take up.

CDC: Easing mask mandates led to higher COVID cases and deaths

Customer at a supermarket chain in Austin, Texas. Montinique Monroe/Getty Images

Easing mask restrictions and on-site dining have increased COVID-19 cases and deaths, according to a study out Friday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Why it matters: The report's findings converge with actions from governors this week easing mask mandates and announcing plans to reopen nonessential businesses like restaurants.