Jun 22, 2017

Trump hasn't spoken with Sanders about Medicaid cuts

Andrew Harnik / AP

Just hours before Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Sanders briefed reporters at the White House Thursday, the Senate released its version of the GOP health care bill, which included a series of cuts to Medicaid — something President Trump pledged he wouldn't do throughout his campaign. Reporters hoped she'd have answers on whether Trump still believed in protecting the program, but Sanders simply stated that she hadn't talked to the president about it.

Other highlights from the briefing:

  • On Democrats being left out health care process: "We know that Obamacare is not sustainable. It's collapsing under itself... if Democrats really cared, they would've been involved in the process... it's sad they decided to play partisan politics."
  • On health bill being rushed through House/Senate: "We've been talking about reforming healthcare for a number of years. I don't think it's moving too fast."
  • Does Trump think Russia interfered in the election? "He thinks that it probably was Russia," but he also thinks the Democrats are using it to make excuses for why they lost.
  • On Trump tweeting he didn't tape Comey: "I think the president's statement on Twitter is extremely clear. I don't have anything to add."
  • Does Trump regret his original tweet suggesting he may have tapes? "I don't think so."
  • Does Trump think he's being surveilled in the Oval Office? "Not that I'm aware of."
  • Did Trump raise prospect of tapes to get Comey to tell the truth? "It was more about raising the question of doubt in general."
  • Trump's North Korea tweet: "The president has been extremely clear on this process. Of course he hopes to work with China."

Go deeper

WHO won't call coronavirus a pandemic as cases spread

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The World Health Organization will not yet call the coronavirus a pandemic, claiming that needs across affected countries are too varied and the classification would increase fear, per a briefing Monday.

The big picture: As South Korea and Italy stepped up emergency measures in efforts to thwart the spread of the virus, WHO expressed concern about infections with no clear link to China. COVID-19 has killed at least 2,620 people and infected almost 80,000 others, with all but 27 deaths occurring in mainland China.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 57 mins ago - Health

Democrats demand new Russia sanctions over 2020 election interference

Putin and Trump. Photo: Kremlin Press Office/Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Senate Democratic leaders will send a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Monday afternoon demanding they sanction Russia — and potentially Russian President Vladimir Putin himself — for attempting to influence the 2020 presidential election.

Why it matters: The letter follows reports that a senior intelligence official briefed Congress that Russia is again interfering in the November election to help Trump. White House national security adviser Robert O'Brien repeatedly rejected that assessment on Sunday, and CNN later reported that the briefer may have overstated the intelligence community's evidence about Russia's goals.