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Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney downplayed the leaking of President Trump's schedules to Axios, telling NBC's Chuck Todd that the story — which showed Trump has spent around 60% of his scheduled time over the past 3 months in unstructured "Executive Time" — "wasn't that valuable of information."

Chuck Todd: "Then why is there a leak?"
Mulvaney: "This show lasts an hour. Does that mean only you work for an hour a week? No, there's lot of stuff that goes on to make that happen. That Executive Time is on there to allow the president to prep for the next meeting to debrief from the previous meeting. The phone calls start at 6 in the morning and go until 11 at night, so I can assure you he's working more than on the calendar."

Go deeper: Read Trump's private schedules for the last three months

Go deeper

1 hour ago - World

U.S. strikes Iran-backed militia facilities in Syria

President Biden at the Pentagon on Feb. 10. Photo: Alex Brandon - Pool/Getty Images

The United States on Thursday carried out an airstrike against facilities in Syria linked to an Iran-backed militia group, the Pentagon announced.

The state of play: The strike, approved by President Biden, comes "in response to recent attacks against American and Coalition personnel in Iraq, and to ongoing threats to those personnel," Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said in a statement.

Senate parliamentarian rules $15 minimum wage cannot be included in relief package

Photo: Al Drago/Getty Images

The Senate parliamentarian ruled Thursday that the provision to increase the minimum wage to $15/hour cannot be included in the broader $1.9 trillion COVID relief package.

Why it matters: It's now very likely that any increase in the minimum wage will need bipartisan support, as the provision cannot be passed with the simple Senate majority that Democrats are aiming to use for President Biden's rescue bill.

Dave Lawler, author of World
1 hour ago - World

Biden's big Saudi reset

Mohammed bin Salman. Photo: Ryad Kramdi/AFP via Getty

President Biden spoke with Saudi Arabia's King Salman this evening ahead of the release of a CIA report expected to implicate the king's son, and the kingdom's de facto ruler, in the murder of a U.S.-based journalist, Jamal Khashoggi.

Why it matters: In one month, Biden has ended support for the Saudi war effort in Yemen, frozen a large arms deal and snubbed Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) by declining to speak with him directly.

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