Jan 24, 2017

Theme of Spicer press briefing: "It's only day 2"

Susan Walsh / AP

Spicer said that Trump stands by his belief that millions of illegal immigrants voted in November's election. When pressed on the topic by 6 different reporters he declined to elaborate on the evidence. Trump "believes what he believes based on the information that he's been provided."

He continued calling on nontraditional media outlets, like LifeZette. It seemed to end somewhat abruptly after 45 minutes. Other highlights:

  1. Gag order at EPA and other agencies: Spicer said he doesn't have any information at this time, but he "isn't surprised." Added that an examination of policies comes with a turnover of the administration.
  2. Today's executive orders: President reinstated the Keystone pipeline, directed agencies to approve proposals with no delay. Also signed off on Dakota Access pipeline, and said Trump is open to renegotiating where it is being placed.
  3. Called out Senate Dems for holding up Cabinet: "Let's get it done, our country's economy and safety is at stake."
  4. SCOTUS watch: Bipartisan meeting with key senate leadership this afternoon for SCOTUS nominee. Trump will announce nomination by next week. Calls the pick "mainstream" who will support the constitution, and not create laws from the bench.
  5. NATO: Trump doesn't find it effective and isn't pleased with what he sees in terms of U.S. contribution.

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Scoop: New White House personnel chief tells Cabinet liaisons to target Never Trumpers

McEntee, shown with White House counselor Kellyanne Conway and White House senior adviser Stephen Miller, walks on the South Lawn of the White House Jan. 9. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Johnny McEntee called in White House liaisons from cabinet agencies for an introductory meeting Thursday, in which he asked them to identify political appointees across the U.S. government who are believed to be anti-Trump, three sources familiar with the meeting tell Axios.

Behind the scenes: McEntee, a 29-year-old former body man to Trump who was fired in 2018 by then-Chief of Staff John Kelly but recently rehired — and promoted to head the presidential personnel office — foreshadowed sweeping personnel changes across government.

How art can help us understand AI

Photo: Ina Fried/Axios

Activists and journalists have been telling us for years that we are handing too much of our human autonomy over to machines and algorithms. Now artists have a showcase in the heart of Silicon Valley to highlight concerns around facial recognition, algorithmic bias and automation.

Why it matters: Art and technology have been partners for millennia, as Steve Jobs liked to remind us. But the opening of "Uncanny Valley: Being Human in the Age of AI" tomorrow at the de Young Museum in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park puts art in the role of technology's questioner, challenger — and sometimes prosecutor.

The Deontay Wilder-Tyson Fury fight is the rematch of the century

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The weekend's biggest sporting event is Wilder-Fury II, which despite its name is not an action movie sequel starring Jean-Claude Van Damme but, rather, a boxing match starring arguably the two best heavyweights in the world.

The backdrop: In their first meeting in December 2018, Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury put on a memorable show at Staples Center, with Fury surviving a brutal right hand in the 12th round to earn a split-decision draw.

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