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Carolyn Kaster / AP

Sean Spicer held a tumultuous briefing this afternoon with the White House press corps, but hopefully this weekend will be a little more relaxed as he announced that President Trump will be in Mar-a-Lago (or "the Winter White House") for the weekend, departing on Friday.

  1. "It's not a ban": @realDonaldTrump at 8:31 AM yesterday, "If the ban were announced with a one week notice, the 'bad' would rush into our country during that week. A lot of bad 'dudes' out there!"
  2. On the battlefield: Spicer dodged the question when asked if Trump still believes in targeting the families of terrorists, but he did pledge that no American citizen would ever be targeted in a counterterrorism strike.
  3. On the Yates firing: "This isn't about joining the government to execute your ideas or opinions ... If they don't like it, they shouldn't take the job. But it's the President's agenda that we're fulfilling here."
  4. SCOTUS: "We've got an individual that I think is going to have widespread bipartisan support." Spicer deferred to Mitch McConnell when asked if Trump supports the Senate invoking the "nuclear option" for Supreme Court nominees.
  5. At war with the media: Tensions ran high between Spicer and the press corps. When pressed on POTUS' tweet, Spicer said, "He's using the words that the media is using." He further told reporters, "You are part of the confusion." He also specifically cited the New York Times report on the executive order as "false reporting." Watch it below:

Go deeper

Scoop: FDA chief called to West Wing

Stephen Hahn. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows has summoned FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn to the West Wing for a 9:30am meeting Tuesday to explain why he hasn't moved faster to approve the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine, two senior administration officials told Axios.

Why it matters: The meeting is shaping up to be tense, with Hahn using what the White House will likely view as kamikaze language in a preemptive statement to Axios: "Let me be clear — our career scientists have to make the decision and they will take the time that’s needed to make the right call on this important decision."

Scoop: Schumer's regrets

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images   

Chuck Schumer told party donors during recent calls that the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the fact that Cal Cunningham "couldn't keep his zipper up" crushed Democrats' chances of regaining the Senate, sources with direct knowledge of the conversations tell Axios.

Why it matters: Democrats are hoping for a 50-50 split by winning two upcoming special elections in Georgia. But their best chance for an outright Senate majority ended when Cunningham lost in North Carolina and Sen. Susan Collins won in Maine.

Trump's coronavirus adviser Scott Atlas resigns

Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty

Scott Atlas, a controversial member of the White House coronavirus task force, handed in his resignation on Monday, according to three administration officials who discussed Atlas' resignation with Axios.

Why it matters: President Trump brought in Atlas as a counterpoint to NIAID director Anthony Fauci, whose warnings about the pandemic were dismissed by the Trump administration. With Trump now fixated on election fraud conspiracy theories, Atlas' detail comes to a natural end.