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In the moment, it's impossible to process how consequential, historic and bizarre these dribs and drabs are that we're being barraged with all day.

Less than 24 hours after a mass shooting that critically wounded a member of Congress, the President of the United States issued official statements via Twitter that said:

"They made up a phony collusion with the Russians story, found zero proof, so now they go for obstruction of justice on the phony story. Nice ... You are witnessing the single greatest WITCH HUNT in American political history - led by some very bad and conflicted people!"

He followed up later in the day with more tweets:

"Why is that Hillary Clintons family and Dems dealings with Russia are not looked at, but my non-dealings are? ... Crooked H destroyed phones w/ hammer, 'bleached' emails, & had husband meet w/AG days before she was cleared- & they talk about obstruction?"

And just this morning: Axios' Jonathan Swan pointed out that White House allies, over the past 10 days, have taken cues from Trump and begun hitting Mueller on the air, in social media and in conversations with reporters.

History note by Blake Hounshell:

Then at 9:21 last night, following two nights of revelations by the WashPost about the Mueller investigation, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein released a statement saying:

"Americans should exercise caution before accepting as true any stories attributed to anonymous 'officials,' particularly when they do not identify the country – let alone the branch or agency of government – with which the alleged sources supposedly are affiliated. Americans should be skeptical about anonymous allegations. The Department of Justice has a long-established policy to neither confirm nor deny such allegations."

And, if all that weren't enough for one day, we learn that Vice President Pence has lawyered up.

Statement from an aide: "[T]he Vice President has retained Richard Cullen of McGuire Woods [in Richmond] to assist him in responding to inquiries by the special counsel. The Vice President is focused entirely on his duties and promoting the President's agenda and looks forward to a swift conclusion of this matter."

The backdrop: Amid all this, Republicans are trying to pass a health-care plan that, even in states Trump won, is one of the most unpopular pieces of legislation a majority party has pushed in a long time. It's not just unpopular — Trump himself called it "mean." Imagine the campaign ads: even Donald Trump thinks the plan is too mean!

Sound smart: Please just reread that last paragraph.

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Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9:45 p.m. ET: 19,282,972 — Total deaths: 718,851 — Total recoveries — 11,671,491Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9:45 p.m. ET: 4,937,441 — Total deaths: 161,248 — Total recoveries: 1,623,870 — Total tests: 60,415,558Map.
  3. Politics: Trump says he's prepared to sign executive orders on coronavirus aid.
  4. Education: Cuomo says all New York schools can reopen for in-person learning.
  5. Public health: Surgeon general urges flu shots to prevent "double whammy" with coronavirus — Massachusetts pauses reopening after uptick in coronavirus cases.
  6. World: Africa records over 1 million coronavirus cases — Gates Foundation puts $150 million behind coronavirus vaccine production.

Warren and Clinton to speak on same night of Democratic convention

(Photos: Abdulhamid Hosbas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images, Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Hillary Clinton both are slated to speak on the Wednesday of the Democratic convention — Aug. 19 — four sources familiar with the planning told Axios.

Why it matters: That's the same night Joe Biden's running mate (to be revealed next week) will address the nation. Clinton and Warren represent two of the most influential wise-women of Democratic politics with the potential to turn out millions of establishment and progressive voters in November.

Trump considering order on pre-existing condition protections, which already exist

Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump announced on Friday he will pursue an executive order requiring insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions, something that is already law.

Why it matters: The Affordable Care Act already requires insurers to cover pre-existing conditions. The Trump administration is currently arguing in a case before the Supreme Court to strike down that very law — including its pre-existing condition protections.