President Trump addressed the sexual assault allegations against his likely 2020 opponent Joe Biden at a press conference Thursday, telling reporters: "I think that he should respond. It could be false accusations. I know all about false accusations."

Why it matters: Trump, who has been accused of sexual misconduct by more than two dozen women, did not directly attack Biden as many of his campaign surrogates and Republican allies have. Biden, whose campaign has denied Tara Reade's allegations, reportedly plans to directly address the allegations by former Senate staffer Tara Reade on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Friday.

What he's saying:

"I have been falsely charged numerous times. And there is such a thing. If you look at Brett Kavanaugh, there is an outstanding man. He was falsely charged. What happened with him was an absolute disgrace to our country. And I guess three of the four women have now admitted that. And of the fourth, give me a break. I mean, take a look. 36 years. This is a fine man. I saw a man suffering so unfairly, I am talking about Brett Kavanaugh. But I don't know, I can't speak for Biden. I can only say I think that he should respond, I think he should answer them." 
— President Trump

Go deeper ... Timeline: Tara Reade's sexual assault allegations against Joe Biden

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Updated Aug 7, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Axios-NewsWhip 2020 attention tracker: Right-wing media defanged

Data: NewsWhip; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

The three biggest anti-Joe Biden storylines in right-wing media over the last year have either fizzled or are getting less online traction than they used to, according to data from NewsWhip provided exclusively to Axios.

Why it matters: This dynamic has rendered a formidable media ecosystem less effective in boosting President Trump as we move into the heart of the 2020 campaign.

Cleanup on aisle Biden

Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

After two gaffes and a low blow from President Trump questioning his faith, Joe Biden spent Thursday evening off his own message — clarifying comments and responding to attacks.

Why it matters: Biden’s responses reflect what we could see a lot more of in the next few months — cringeworthy comments and Trump smears, smacking into each other and pulling the Democrat off course.

Updated 8 mins ago - Health

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

France reported more than 2,500 new COVID-19 cases in 24 hours — the largest single-day number since May. French officials said the situation was "clearly worsening," per France 24.

By the numbers: Over 745,600 people have died of the novel coronavirus globally and over 20.4 million have tested positive, per Johns Hopkins. Almost 12.7 million have recovered from the virus.