Oct 18, 2017

Trump denies telling widow her husband "knew what he signed up for"

President Trump sitting next to Sen. Claire McCaskill Gary Cohn during a meeting at the White House. Photo: Susan Walsh / AP

President Trump insisted Wednesday that he never told the widow of a fallen soldier that her husband "knew what he signed up for," as Frederica Wilson, the Democratic congresswoman who was with the woman at the time of the call, claimed he did.

"I didn't say what that congresswoman said, I didn't say it at all... and I'd like her to make the statement again... I had a very nice conversation with the woman, the wife who sounded like a lovely woman."

Alexander-Murray health care bill: Trump walked back his previous signs of support for the bipartisan bill, instead stating that he thinks it's "fine" if the Senate can reach a bipartisan agreement, but he "won't do anything to enrich the insurance companies." The bill funds subsidies to insurers who cover low-income customers.

Go deeper

Ivanka Trump plans focus on coronavirus recovery for small businesses

Ivanka Trump speaks at yesterday's White House videoconference with bank and credit card executives. Photo: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

Ivanka Trump personally lobbied top bank executives to line up the $1.5 billion in commitments to small business that were announced yesterday at a videoconference among the bank executives and President Trump — stoking competitive juices among the execs to drive up their commitments.

The state of play: Ivanka, who has had workforce development in her portfolio going back to 2017, plans an increasing emphasis on small businesses in the weeks ahead as they navigate the rescue bill’s Payroll Protection Program, sources tell me.

Public transit's death spiral

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Public transit systems across the country are experiencing a painful trifecta: Ridership has collapsed, funding streams are squeezed, and mass transit won't bounce back from the pandemic nearly as fast as other modes of transportation.

Why it matters: Transit agencies could see an annual shortfall of as much as $38 billion due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to TransitCenter. At the same time, they're more important than ever, with more than 36% of essential workers relying on public transportation to get to work.

Go deeperArrow3 hours ago - Health

World coronavirus updates: London mayor says U.K. nowhere near lockdown lifting

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern offered hope in the fight against the novel coronavirus, saying she believes New Zealand has "turned a corner" after two weeks of strict lockdown measures. But London Mayor Sadiq Khan has said the U.K. is "nowhere near" lifting restrictions.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed over 82,000 people and infected 1.4 million others globally as of early Wednesday, per Johns Hopkins data. Global recoveries have surpassed 301,000. Spain has reported the most cases outside the U.S. (more than 141,000) and Italy the most deaths (over 17,000). Half the planet's population is on lockdown.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 4 hours ago - Health