Carolyn Kaster / AP

The big message from Sean Spicer today: Flynn's departure was "not a legal issue, but a trust issue." Spicer said that Trump asked for Flynn's resignation last night, which is in conflict with reporting that said Flynn himself decided to resign. The highlights from today's Flynn-themed briefing...

  • The first day that Trump knew about Flynn: January 26th — after a briefing from the Department of Justice.
  • The reason for letting Flynn go: "The level of trust between the President and Gen. Flynn had eroded to the point where he had to make a change."
  • Flynn's chat was fine: Spicer said that Trump "absolutely" didn't direct Flynn to discuss sanctions with the Russian ambassador but at the same time "the president had no problem that he acted in accord with his job.
  • Just Russia?: Spicer refused to say if Trump's "eroding trust" in Flynn extended to other issues beyond Russia; he simply said that Trump gets briefed by a full team.
  • Mar-a-Lago dinner: Spicer confirmed there's a SCIF (Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility) at Mar-a-Lago and said that the photos of Trump discussing North Korea at dinner were actually of him discussing press logistics.

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Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 p.m. ET: 33,867,247 — Total deaths: 1,012,341 — Total recoveries: 23,537,059Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8 p.m. ET: 7,229,319 — Total deaths: 206,887 — Total recoveries: 2,840,688 — Total tests: 103,939,667Map.
  3. Education: School-aged children now make up 10% of all U.S COVID-19 cases.
  4. Health: The coronavirus' alarming impact on the body.
  5. Business: Real-time data show economy's rebound slowing but still going.
  6. Sports: Steelers-Titans NFL game delayed after coronavirus outbreak.
Ina Fried, author of Login
2 hours ago - Technology

Facebook removes Trump ads tying refugees to COVID-19

Photo Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Facebook said Wednesday that it was removing a series of ads from President Trump's campaign that linked American acceptance of refugees with increased coronavirus risk, a connection Facebook says is without merit.

Why it matters: The ads were pulled after they received thousands of impressions and are a sign that the Trump campaign continues to test the limits of social media rules on false information.

Over 73 million people watched the first debate on TV

Data: Nielsen; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

More than 73.1 million people watched the first presidential debate on television on Tuesday night, according to Nielsen ratings.

Why it matters: While that's a sizable audience for any American TV program, it's down more than 13% from the record number of TV viewers who tuned in for the first debate of the 2016 election. The chaotic nature of the debate and the overall uncertainty around this year's election may have pushed some viewers away.