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Carolyn Kaster / AP

President Trump's meeting with top executives from Harley-Davidson will start at 1p.m. sharp, so Spicer kept this one short. The highlights:

  • Religious liberty, code for discrimination?: The president "wants to make sure that you don't penalize someone for wanting to express their faith." Spicer stated that executive orders on religious liberty are not in the works right now.
  • Treasury is not easing sanctions against Russia: But it is "a regular course of action" that the Treasury does quite often when sanctions are imposed.
  • Iran on notice: General Flynn was "really clear" yesterday that Iran has violated the joint resolution, "We're not going to sit by and take it."
  • Leaks on Yemen strike: Spicer said the initial plan was approved under the Obama administration: "This was a very, very well thought out and executed effort." He also reiterated his belief that it was a "successful operation" made difficult by the loss of Navy Seal Ryan Owens.
  • National Prayer Breakfast: As for Trump's comments on "praying" for Arnold Schwarzenegger's performance on The Apprentice: "He meant it as a lighthearted moment because Mark Burnett was there...I think you have to look at the totality of his remarks which were beautiful," said Spicer.

Go deeper

1 hour ago - Health

Meta removes over 600 accounts linked to COVID disinformation effort by China

Facebook's corporate headquarters campus in Menlo Park, California. Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images

Meta announced Wednesday it has removed over 600 Facebook and Instagram accounts linked to a Chinese influence operation that claimed the U.S. was pressuring the World Health Organization (WHO) to blame COVID on China.

Why it matters: Though Meta said the network was unsuccessful, it marks yet another COVID disinformation campaign instigated by China in an effort to discredit the U.S.

Stacey Abrams launches second campaign for Georgia governor

Photo: Eze Amos/Getty Images

Stacey Abrams, voting rights activist and former 2018 candidate for Georgia governor, is running for the position again in 2022. Abrams would be the first Black female governor in the country.

Why it matters: Abrams caught national attention in 2018 by narrowly losing an election to Republican Gov. Brian Kemp in a state held firmly by the GOP for nearly two decades.

First known U.S. case of Omicron variant identified in California

Dr. Anthony Fauci speaks during the daily briefing at the White House on Dec. 1. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

The first known U.S. case of the Omicron variant was detected in California, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed Wednesday.

Driving the news: The confirmed case was detected in a traveler returning from South Africa who was fully vaccinated and has mild symptoms, according to the CDC.