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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

Go deeper

Updated Sep 14, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Axios-NewsWhip 2020 attention tracker: We're numb to the coronavirus

Data: Newswhip; Chart: Axios Visuals

We're over COVID even if it isn't over us.

Why it matters: Six months into the pandemic, online engagement around coronavirus stories has dropped off markedly and continues to reach new lows even as the pandemic continues, according to data from NewsWhip provided exclusively to Axios.

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.

House passes $1.9 trillion COVID relief package

Photo: Screenshot via C-SPAN

The House approved President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID relief package on a 219-212 vote early Saturday morning, sending it to the Senate for a possible rewrite before it gets to Biden's desk.

The big picture: The vote was a critical first step for the package, which includes $1,400 cash payments for many Americans, a national vaccination program, ramped-up COVID testing and contact tracing, state and local funding and money to help schools reopen.