President Trump. Photo: Tasos Katopodis-Pool/Getty Images

President Trump said in a tweet on Friday that the women confronting senators in the halls of the Senate about their support of Brett Kavanaugh are "paid professionals" with "identical signs...[p]aid for by Soros and others."

Why it matters: The far-right frequently ties George Soros to moments of political discourse as a way to explain unrest, and doesn't shy away from labeling protestors "crisis actors." The fact is that in the last few years, widespread protests have become more frequent over heated political moments, and Friday's vote on Kavanaugh's confirmation is no exception.

"The very rude elevator screamers are paid professionals only looking to make Senators look bad. Don’t fall for it! Also, look at all of the professionally made identical signs. Paid for by Soros and others. These are not signs made in the basement from love! #Troublemakers"
— President Trump

The "elevator screamers:" Last week, before the Senate Judiciary Committee's vote, Sen. Jeff Flake was cornered by a sexual assault survivor, and Sen. Orrin Hatch was confronted on Thursday.

Between the lines: Billionaire George Soros, as Axios' Shane Savitsky reported last year, is "often seen as a bogeyman by conservative pundits."

  • He's been tied to events like Charlottesville and NFL protests by far-right conspiracy theorists who say he's funding movements to cause civil unrest and work against Trump.
  • Why Soros? "He's a figure often seen as a bogeyman by conservative pundits, who have latched onto both his Hungarian roots and massive success in the financial sector — such as betting against the British pound in the 1990s — to create shadowy associations with his extensive support of progressive causes and social justice. And his Jewish faith, which Gosar made the point of mentioning during his Vice interview, is frequently used as a dog whistle by the far right."
  • The trend: "Spikes in media attention for Soros tend to crop up in two scenarios — a genuine political splash by Soros or a right-wing conspiracy theory brought about by a controversial and divisive event in the United States."

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

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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.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8:30 p.m. ET: 19,266,406 — Total deaths: 718,530 — Total recoveries — 11,671,253Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8:30 p.m. ET: 4,928,802 — Total deaths: 161,052 — 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.

Trump says he's prepared to sign executive orders on coronavirus aid

President Trump. Photo: Jim watson/Getty Images

President Trump, speaking from a podium at his golf club in Bedminster, N.J., on Friday announced that he is prepared to issue executive orders suspending payroll taxes and extending enhanced unemployment benefits through the end of 2020, and halting student loan interest and payments indefinitely.

Why it matters: The impending orders come after talks between the White House and Democratic leadership collapsed Friday afternoon. But Trump said he remains committed to striking a deal with Congress on a broader stimulus package before signing the orders.