Apr 18, 2017

This is what 2018 pressure looks like

Andrew Harnik / AP

Nevada Sen. Dean Heller, one of the most vulnerable Republicans running for re-election in 2018, made enemies of social conservatives Monday afternoon when he defended Planned Parenthood in a rowdy town hall meeting in Reno.

Heller's two eyebrow-raising quotes:

  1. "I will protect Planned Parenthood."
  2. "I have no problems with federal funding for Planned Parenthood."

Social conservatives will campaign against Heller: I emailed a few top sources to get an early read on how movement leaders are reacting to Heller's comments. Penny Nance, the president of Concerned Women for America, reflected the majority sentiment: "I am very disappointed to read this and disappointed doesn't even begin to cover the reaction our members in Nevada will have when we inform them of Heller's new position."

Political backdrop: While he's previously opposed Planned Parenthood funding, it shouldn't be so surprising that Heller is charting a new course. He's very attuned to the fact that Nevada is a swing state and that he needs to vote down the middle. Practically speaking, Heller's support (or not) for Planned Parenthood will only count if Republicans manage to resuscitate Trumpcare, as that's the only legislative vehicle that people think can be used to defund the abortion provider.

Go deeper

Zuckerberg says Trump’s “shooting” tweet didn’t violate Facebook’s rules

Mark Zuckerberg at the 56th Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany on February 15. Photo: Abdulhamid Hosbas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Facebook did not remove President Trump's threat to send the National Guard to Minneapolis because the company's policy on inciting violence allows discussion on state use of force, CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained in a post on Friday.

The big picture: Zuckerberg's statement comes on the heels of leaked internal criticism from Facebook employees over how the company handled Trump's posts about the Minneapolis protests and his unsubstantiated claims on mail-in ballots — both of which Twitter has now taken action on.

Updated 1 min ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8:30 p.m. ET: 5,919,364— Total deaths: 364,459 — Total recoveries — 2,490,221Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8:30 p.m. ET: 1,745,606 — Total deaths: 102,798 — Total recoveries: 406,446 — Total tested: 16,099,515Map.
  3. Public health: Hydroxychloroquine prescription fills exploded in March —How the U.S. might distribute a vaccine.
  4. 2020: North Carolina asks RNC if convention will honor Trump's wish for no masks or social distancing.
  5. Business: Fed chair Powell says coronavirus is "great increaser" of income inequality.
  6. 1 sports thing: NCAA outlines plan to get athletes back to campus.

Trump says he spoke with George Floyd's family

President Trump in the Rose Garden on May 29. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

President Trump told reporters on Friday that he had spoken with the family of George Floyd, a black resident of Minneapolis who died after a police officer knelt on his neck on Monday.

Driving the news: Former Vice President Joe Biden said via livestream a few hours earlier that he, too, had spoken with Floyd's family. The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee implored white Americans to consider systemic injustices against African Americans more broadly, Axios' Alexi McCammond reports.