Andrew Harnik / AP

Spicer said that Trump wrapped up discussions on the federal budget — which will make sure that the government spends "more responsibly" — right before the start of the briefing. The administration expects to release the new budget plan to the public in mid-March.

Other takeaways:

  • Voter fraud: VP Pence "is starting to gather names to be part of" the task force on millions of allegedly fraudulent votes in the 2016 election.
  • Transgender bathrooms: DeVos is "100 percent" on board with a transgender bathroom rule change, said Spicer, contrary to a Washington Post report from earlier today. He added that there are problems with the joint guidance issued by the Dept. of Education and DOJ under Obama's administration, which has probably led to the chatter.
  • Appointee approval process: Spicer said the approval process "is not slowing down" the filling of positions within Trump's administration, and added that "appointees coming in need to support the President's agenda" — which takes time.
  • Rowdy Obamacare Town Halls: "This is not representative of a congressional district.... Just because they are loud, doesn't necessarily mean that there are many," said Spicer. On complaints about repealing Obamacare, "There's a lot of blurring of the facts."
  • Trump's address to Congress next Tuesday: The president will share his objectives, visions and goals. Following his speech, Spicer said you can expect him to visit a fair amount of states to enforce those aims.
  • Sec. of State Tillerson and Gen. Kelly are traveling to Mexico later this afternoon. "The U.S. and Mexico have an unbelievable relationship right now... and there is a robust dialogue between both nations."

One fun thing: When asked whether there will be another Meryl Streep at the Oscars, Spicer laughed and said, "I think Hollywood is known for being far to the left," adding that the President and the First Lady will be too busy with Governor's Ball Sunday night to watch the awards show. Meanwhile in the corner, Kellyanne Conway buried her head in her hands.

Go deeper

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 32,471,119 — Total deaths: 987,593 — Total recoveries: 22,374,557Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 7,032,524 — Total deaths: 203,657 — Total recoveries: 2,727,335 — Total tests: 99,483,712Map.
  3. States: "We’re not closing anything going forward": Florida fully lifts COVID restaurant restrictions — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam tests positive for coronavirus.
  4. Health: Young people accounted for 20% of cases this summer.
  5. Business: Coronavirus has made airports happier places The expiration of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance looms.
  6. Education: Where bringing students back to school is most risky.
Mike Allen, author of AM
7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden pushes unity message in new TV wave

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What he's saying: The ad — which began Friday night, and is a follow-up to "Fresh Start" — draws from a Biden speech earlier in the week in Manitowoc, Wisconsin:

Trump prepares to announce Amy Coney Barrett as Supreme Court replacement

Judge Amy Coney Barrett. Photo: Matt Cashore/Notre Dame University via Reuters

President Trump is preparing to nominate federal appeals court Judge Amy Coney Barrett of Indiana, a favorite of both the social conservative base and Republican elected officials, to succeed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Republican sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: Barrett would push the already conservative court further and harder to the right, for decades to come, on the most important issues in American politics — from abortion to the limits of presidential power. If confirmed, she would give conservatives a 6-3 majority on the high court.

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