Feb 9, 2017

The takeaways from Spicer's testy Thursday briefing

Carolyn Kaster / AP

Sean Spicer held his testiest briefing yet with the White House press corps. And it looks like he needs to update his boss on #2 in his 17 Rules for Life. ("Think before you tweet, post, or upload.")

  • On Trump tweeting about Nordstrom but not Quebec City attack: "I literally opened the briefing [a few days ago] with that...You're equating me addressing the nation here and a tweet? This is silly."
  • Gorsuch's "demoralizing" comments: Spicer said that Gorsuch was not commenting on any specific comment or tweet by Trump, but rather attacks on the judiciary as a whole. "He literally went out of his way to say, 'I'm not commenting on a specific instance.'"
  • On Trump toning down his criticism of the judiciary: "When President Obama did it, there was no concern from this briefing room. When [Trump] does it, it's a ton of outrage."
  • Kellyanne pushing Ivanka's brand: "Kellyanne has been counseled on the subject...and that's it."
  • The Putin call: Spicer refused to comment on reports regarding Trump not knowing about the New START nuclear treaty. He said it was a private call.

Go deeper

White House recommends Americans wear masks in public

New Yorker wearing a homemade face covering. Photo: Selcuk Acar/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The White House announced that the CDC is recommending Americans wear cloth masks or face coverings in public to help stop the spread of the coronavirus, President Trump said at a press briefing on Friday — emphasizing the guidance is "voluntary."

Why it matters: The use of face coverings could stop people who have the virus, whether they have symptoms or not, from spreading it further when they go out in public.

Trump calls to fill up more places with oil

President Trump is calling on the Energy Department to find more places to store oil, in the wake of rock-bottom prices and an ensuing economic collapse of the sector itself.

Driving the news: Trump’s comments came Friday during a televised portion of a meeting he hosted with industry CEOs to discuss ways to help the sector. It’s reeling from a historic drop-off in demand with the world shutting down to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4:30 p.m. ET: 1,083,084 — Total deaths: 58,243 — Total recoveries: 225,422Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4:30 p.m. ET: 266,671 — Total deaths: 6,921 — Total recoveries: 9,445Map.
  3. 2020 latest: Wisconsin governor calls for last-minute primary election delay.
  4. Oil latest: The amount of gasoline American drivers are consuming dropped to levels not seen in more than 25 years, government data shows.
  5. Business updates: America's small business bailout is off to a bad start.
  6. U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt: Senators call for independent investigation into firing of Navy captain.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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