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President Trump shakes hands with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Photo: Win McNamee / Getty Images)

President Trump and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull delivered a joint press conference Friday, addressing gun control, North Korea, immigration and more.

Why it matters: This was the first time in over a month that the president took questions from the press in a formal setting. The most recent conference before this was with Norway's Prime Minister Erna Solberg in early January. Trump's last individual press conference was over a year ago, on February 16, 2017.

Gun Control
  • In the U.S.: "We want to be very powerful, very strong on background checks, particularly where it pertains to the mentally ill. We're going to get rid of bump stocks and we're going to do certain other things... it's also very important that we have offensive capability as well as defensive capability in the schools."
  • Trump also implied that armed law enforcement don't "know the children" and don't "love the children" like teachers do, adding that teachers are the best people to protect them.
  • In Australia: Turnbull said that certain firearms, like semi-automatic weapons, just aren't available in his country (other than to those who need them for professional reasons.) But he did note that the two countries have "completely different context historically, legally, and so forth. We are very satisfied with our laws ... we certainly don't presume to provide policy or political advice on that matter here."
North Korea
  • Turnbull said he "welcomes" and supports Trump's new sanctions on North Korea.
  • Trump said "If the sanctions don't work we'll have to go to phase two, and phase two may be a very rough thing. May be very, very unfortunate for the world."
  • The president also called Australia a partner in the "maximum pressure" campaign.
China
  • Trump said poor U.S. leadership has allowed China to get away with murder by letting China become stronger and richer.
  • Turnbull said his country "see[s] China's rise as an overwhelmingly positive thing."
Touting each other's successes
  • Immigration: Trump congratulated Turnbull on Australia's commitment to merit-based immigration. "Are my friends from Congress listening to that? We want to do merit-based immigration also ... in that sense we hope to follow in your footprints."
  • Tax reform: “We have been inspired, I must say, by your success in securing the passage of tax reform through the Congress,” Turnbull told Trump.
Everything else
  • White House security clearances: Trump said the process is broken, and trusts his chief of staff John Kelly will fix it. Asked specifically about Jared Kushner, Trump said Kelly "will make that call, I won't make that call."
  • Countries Trump condemns: "What Russia and what Iran and what Syria have done recently is a humanitarian disgrace... What those three countries have done to people over the last short period of time is a disgrace."

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Giuliani associate Lev Parnas convicted of campaign finance crimes

Lev Parnas, a former associate of then-President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Florida businessman Lev Parnas was convicted Friday on charges of conspiracy to make foreign contributions to political campaigns, according to multiple outlets.

Why it matters: Prosecutors said Parnas, then an associate of former President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, funneled over $150,000 from a Russian businessman into U.S. campaigns as part of an effort to land licenses in the U.S.'s legal cannabis industry.

Supreme Court agrees to hear challenges to Texas abortion law

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear two cases challenging Texas' abortion law, which bans the procedure as soon as six weeks into pregnancy, but left the law in place in the meantime.

Why it matters: The court is moving extraordinarily fast on the Texas cases, compressing into just a few days a process that normally takes months. And that schedule means the court will take up Texas' ban a month before it hears another major abortion case — a challenge to Mississippi's own 2018 ban on abortions after 15 weeks.

Officials warn 5 key tech sectors will determine whether China overtakes U.S.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

U.S. intelligence officials responsible for protecting advanced technologies have narrowed their focus to five key sectors: artificial intelligence, quantum computing, biotechnology, semiconductors and autonomous systems.

Why it matters: China and Russia are employing a variety of legal and illegal methods to undermine and overtake U.S. dominance in these critical industries, officials warned in a new paper. Their success will determine "whether America remains the world’s leading superpower or is eclipsed by strategic competitors."