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Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump says he's canceled the Republican National Convention in Jacksonville, Florida, citing health concerns over the coronavirus and a need to protect the public.

What he's saying: Trump made the announcement from the White House briefing room, saying he would still give a speech accepting the nomination "in a different form," and that delegates still would convene in Charlotte, N.C., earlier that week as planned for party business. Trump claims he told his team "the timing for this event is not right, it's just not right," adding, "I have to protect the American people."

Our thought bubble:In the wake of the Tulsa rally debacle, where many of Trump's elderly supporters stayed away for fear of COVID-19, Trump's aides have been urging him to publicly address their concerns.

  • This has resulted in Trump belatedly encouraging the use of masks and now him pulling a stunning about-face and canceling a convention he ordered for the sole purpose of having a massive crowd without burdensome virus-related restrictions.

Between the lines: Trump forced the Republican National Committee to scramble to make Jacksonville work.

  • This required an extraordinary logistical effort, site visits, pressure on vendors and significant expense.
  • Today, Trump pulled the rug out from under the RNC after asking them to pull off a near-impossible task — arranging the year's biggest political event in a matter of weeks.

Behind the scenes: In Oval Office meetings discussing the convention over the past few weeks, aides warned Trump they couldn’t avoid three days of unrelentingly brutal media coverage if he went ahead with the Jacksonville convention.

  • An adviser who was in these meetings said that several aides made the point that the dominant story would have been the potential for Jacksonville to be a super-spreader event and they would find it hard, if not impossible, to break through the discussion of the coronavirus implications.

Go deeper

Win or lose, Trump will maintain his almighty grip over Republicans

President Trump speaks in the East Room early this morning. Photo: Carlos Barria/Reuters

Win or lose, President Trump will emerge more powerful than ever inside the GOP, by defying expectations for himself and lifting fellow Republicans to surprise victories in the House and Senate.

Why it matters: Trump enjoyed an almost messianic hold on Republicans before the election. Now, he looks like a prophet again, against the doomsday projections for his candidacy and his party’s congressional hopes.

Updated 10 mins ago - Politics & Policy

New York AG alleges "significant evidence" of Trump Organization fraud

Combination images of former President Trump and New York State Attorney General Letitia James. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images; Scott Heins/Getty Images

New York's attorney general filed a motion Tuesday seeking to compel former President Trump and his two elder children to appear for sworn testimony in her office's civil investigation into the Trump Organization's financial dealings.

Why it matters: Attorney General Letitia James revealed new details in the court filing and a statement on her office's investigation into the Trump Organization's business practices, including a preliminary finding alleging the company used "fraudulent and misleading asset valuations to obtain economic benefits."

2 hours ago - Technology

Ex-N.Y. Post digital chief files lawsuit alleging sexual harassment

Richard B. Levine) (Photo by Richard Levine/Corbis via Getty Images

Former New York Post editor Michelle Gotthelf is suing her former employer, its parent company News Corp. and two editors, alleging she was reprimanded after complaining to senior executives that she was sexually harassed by retired N.Y. Post editor-in-chief Col Allan. The N.Y. Post issued a statement denying any wrongdoing.

Why it matters: "I felt that I owed it to myself and I owed it to the news organization and the people who answered to me," Gotthelf, who was a long time editor at the N.Y. Post, told Axios in an interview.