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Tillerson and US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley wait for the arrival of Trump at the Palace Hotel. Photo: Evan Vucci / AP

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is going to China Sept. 28-30 in advance of Trump's visit in November, State Department Press Secretary Heather Nauert told reporters today. Tillerson will discuss denuclearization of the Korean peninsula as well as trade.

Other highlights from the press briefing:

  • On Cuba: Tillerson is meeting with Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez this evening. The Cuban government requested the meeting, Nauert reports. The U.S. government is reviewing whether to close down the U.S. Embassy in Havana after it was uncovered that 21 American diplomats serving in Cuba are experiencing brain damage and hearing loss. Raul Castro denies involvement in the incidents.
  • On the Kurdish referendum for independence: The U.S. "did not support that referendum…we don't see it as taking sides with Baghdad. We support a unified, democratic Iraq." Instead, Nauert said the U.S. wants everyone to focus on defeating ISIS. "This type of division right now could hurt Iraq."
  • On the news that Saudi Arabia will allow women to drive: "It's a great step in the right direction."

Go deeper

Biden to sign 15 executive actions on Day One

President-elect Joe Biden. Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden is expected to sign 15 executive actions upon taking office Wednesday, immediately reversing key Trump administration policies.

Why it matters: The 15 actions — aimed at issues like climate change and immigration — mark more drastic immediate steps compared with the two day-one actions from Biden's four predecessors combined, according to incoming White House press secretary Jen Psaki.

Off the Rails

Episode 7: Trump turns on Pence

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photos: Elijah Nouvelage, Alex Wong/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 7: Trump turns on Pence. Trump believes the vice president can solve all his problems by simply refusing to certify the Electoral College results. It's a simple test of loyalty: Trump or the U.S. Constitution.

"The end is coming, Donald."

The male voice in the TV ad boomed through the White House residence during "Fox & Friends" commercial breaks. Over and over and over. "The end is coming, Donald. ... On Jan. 6, Mike Pence will put the nail in your political coffin."

Big Tech's post-riot reckoning

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

The Capitol insurrection means the anti-tech talk in Washington is more likely to lead to action, since it's ever clearer that the attack was planned, at least in part, on social media.

Why it matters: The big platforms may have hoped they'd move to D.C.'s back burner, with the Hill focused on the Biden agenda and the pandemic out of control. But now, there'll be no escaping harsh scrutiny.