President Trump said in a White House address Wednesday that Americans should be "extremely grateful and happy" because Iranian strikes hours earlier resulted in no casualties, and Iran now "appears to be standing down."

Why it matters: Iran's strikes came in retaliation for the killing of Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani, a stunning event that led to immediate fears of war. Trump defended that decision and announced new sanctions on Iran, but did not signal new military escalation.

What he's saying:

  • "As long as I’m president of the United States, Iran will never be allowed to have a nuclear weapon. Good morning. I’m pleased to inform you, the American people should be extremely grateful and happy. No Americans were harmed in last night’s attack by the Iranian regime."
  • "Our great American forces are prepared for anything. Iran appears to be standing down."
  • "No American or Iraqi lives were lost because of the precautions taken, the dispersal of forces, and an early warning system that worked very well."
  • "The United States is ready to embrace peace with all who seek it."

Trump was flanked by Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and several members of the military top brass.

Details: Trump called on the signatories to the 2015 nuclear pact — the U.K., Germany, France, Russia and China — to "break away from the remnants of the Iran deal."

"We must all work together toward making a deal with Iran that makes the world a safer and more peaceful place."
  • Trump said his "maximum pressure" campaign against Iran would remain in place until Iran's behavior changes, though he called for cooperation against ISIS and other issues where interests overlap.
  • He blamed the current standoff with Iran on the Obama administration, and boasted about American military strength while adding, "we do not want to use it."
  • Trump also said NATO should increase its involvement in the Middle East.

Catch up quick: Overnight, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) fired 15 ballistic missiles from Iran at two Iraqi bases — Al Asad and Irbil — that house U.S. troops.

  • Iran has framed this for its domestic audience as a massive blow, including with images of supreme leader Ali Khamenei personally directing the attack.
  • But the Iraqi government and NATO have confirmed that none of their troops were killed or injured. Iraq also received advanced warning from Tehran.
  • The message from Iran to the U.S., carried over state media and in a tweet from Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, has been that more will follow — but only if the U.S. retaliates.
  • Attacking the U.S. directly, and not through its proxies, was an extremely dangerous move for Iran, particularly after Trump drew a bright red line around any attacks that harm Americans or U.S. interests.

What to watch: Even if the military escalation pauses here, further action is likely through Iranian proxies, in the cyber realm, or over Iran’s nuclear program as it moves further outside the constraints of the 2015 deal.

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McConnell: Senate has "more than sufficient time" to process Supreme Court nomination

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in a floor speech Monday that the chamber has "more than sufficient time" to confirm a replacement for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg before the election, and accused Democrats of preparing "an even more appalling sequel" to the fight over Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation.

Why it matters: Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has said "nothing is off the table next year" if Republicans push ahead with the confirmation vote before November, vowing alongside Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) to use "every procedural tool available to us to ensure that we buy ourselves the time necessary."

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 1:30 p.m. ET: 31,120,980 — Total deaths: 961,656— Total recoveries: 21,287,328Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 1:30 p.m. ET: 6,819,651 — Total deaths: 199,606 — Total recoveries: 2,590,671 — Total tests: 95,108,559Map.
  3. Health: CDC says it mistakenly published guidance about COVID-19 spreading through air.
  4. Politics: House Democrats file legislation to fund government through Dec. 11.
  5. Business: Unemployment concerns are growing.
  6. World: "The Wake-Up Call" warns the West about the consequences of mishandling a pandemic.

House Democrats file legislation to fund government through Dec. 11

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

House Democrats on Monday released their proposal for short-term legislation to fund the government through December 11.

Why it matters: This is Congress' chief legislative focus before the election. They must pass a continuing resolution (CR) before midnight on Oct. 1 to avoid a government shutdown — something both Hill leaders and the White House have claimed is off the table.