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Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Trump said that Washington, D.C., will never become a state because Republicans wouldn't agree to giving Democrats more seats in Congress, in an exclusive interview with the New York Post on Monday.

The big picture: The issue of statehood has been a talking point in D.C. for years, with Republicans generally opposed to the idea. The District currently has a non-voting delegate in the House and no representation in the Senate. If the capital city became a state, it would have one House member and two senators.

Where it stands: The House Oversight Committee voted to pass legislation to grant statehood to D.C. in February. But that has yet to reach the full House for a vote.

What he's saying:

“They want to do that so they pick up two automatic Democrat — you know it’s a 100 percent Democrat, basically — so why would the Republicans ever do that? That’ll never happen unless we have some very, very stupid Republicans around that I don’t think you do. You understand that, right?”
"Why don’t you just take two senators and put them in there? No, it’s not gonna happen. And it how many House seats is it? Like four, three or four? Whatever it is. You’d have three or four more congressmen and two more senators, every single day of every single year. And it would never change. No, the Republicans would never do that.”
— Trump to the New York Post

Worth noting: The nation's capital has voted overwhelmingly Democratic in recent years, with Trump picking up around 4% of the vote in 2016. Nearly 86% of D.C. residents supported statehood in the same election.

Go deeper

Updated Aug 12, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Pelosi says Mnuchin told her White House is "not budging" on stimulus position

Democrats and the Trump administration remain "miles apart" on negotiations over a coronavirus stimulus deal, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said on Wednesday.

The latest: Around 3 p.m., Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) issued a statement saying that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had initiated a phone call and made clear that the White House is "not budging from their position concerning the size and scope of a legislative package."

Return-to-work plans on ice after COVID spike

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Even more "back-to-office" callbacks are being postponed amid a surge in COVID-19 infections.

Why it matters: It feels like March 13, 2020, all over again. When businesses sent all their workers home, it was an early big hint the pandemic was going to upend our lives.

How the Delta variant ups the stakes in the war against COVID

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The dominant Delta variant's ability to efficiently infect people and rapidly grow inside a person is enabling the coronavirus to regain its footing in the United States.

Why it matters: "The solution is right in front of us — get everybody vaccinated and we wouldn't even be talking about this," NIAID director Anthony Fauci tells Axios.

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