Trump spoke to bikers from the White House balcony earlier Friday. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump announced Friday that he was declaring churches and places of worship as "essential places that provide essential services," and said that he would override governors to allow them to open "right now."

What he's saying: "Some governors have deemed liquor stores and abortion clinics as essential, but have left out churches and other houses of worship. It's not right," Trump said from the White House podium.

  • “The governors need to do the right thing and allow these very important essential places of faith to open right now. For this weekend. If they don’t do it, I will override the governors," he added.

Reality check: The federal government does not have the power to implement nationwide measures to move toward a reopening, though the president has used social media — and formerly, his daily briefings — to influence governors' decisions.

  • Trump similarly tweeted last month that the "decision to open up the states" following shutdown measures taken to stop the spread of the coronavirus lies with him, not governors.

Between the lines: The announcement comes after federal guidelines on reopening churches were delayed over a disagreement between the CDC and the White House over the specifics of what they should look like.

  • The CDC released a 60-page road map for states, restaurants, schools, child care programs, mass transit systems and other businesses about reopening earlier this week, but left out details regarding the reopening of places of worship and faith-based organizations.
  • Some religious leaders voiced concerns about churches being left out, sources familiar with the discussions tell Axios, prompting Trump to direct the CDC to quickly finish the guidelines.
  • Trump told reporters Thursday that the new guidance would be issued in the next few days.

The big picture: The Trump administration closely consulted religious leaders as they drafted the guidelines, a White House official told Axios.

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Biden's doctrine: Erase Trump, re-embrace the world

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto, and Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Foreign policy will look drastically different if Joe Biden defeats President Trump in November, advisers tell Axios — starting with a Day One announcement that the U.S. is re-entering the Paris Climate Agreement and new global coordination of the coronavirus response.

The big picture: If Trump's presidency started the "America First" era of withdrawal from global alliances, Biden's team says his presidency would be the opposite: a re-engagement with the world and an effort to rebuild those alliances — fast.

Robert Mueller speaks out on Roger Stone commutation

Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller testifies before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on Capitol Hill on Wednesday July 24, 2019. Photo: The Washington Post / Contributor

Former special counsel Robert Mueller responded to claims from President Trump and his allies that Roger Stone was a "victim" in the Justice Department's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, writing in a Washington Post op-ed published Saturday: "He remains a convicted felon, and rightly so."

Why it matters: The rare public comments by Mueller come on the heels of President Trump's move to commute the sentence of his longtime associate, who was sentenced in February to 40 months in prison for crimes stemming from the Russia investigation. The controversial decision brought an abrupt end to the possibility of Stone spending time behind bars.

Trump dons face mask during Walter Reed visit

Trump wearing a face mask in Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on July 11. Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump wore a face mask during his Saturday visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, according to AP.

Why it matters: This is the first known occasion the president has appeared publicly with a facial covering as recommended by health officials since the coronavirus pandemic began, AP writes.