May 4, 2017

Trump loosens restrictions on churches endorsing politicians

Evan Vucci / AP

Trump delivered remarks during the National Day of Prayer before calling on a series of religious leaders to stand behind him as he signed his executive order promoting free speech and religious liberty.

You're now in a position where you can say what you want to say, and I know you'll only say good.

Key piece of the order: It eases restrictions imposed by the Johnson Amendment, which limits political participation by tax-exempt religious groups.

Quotables:

  • "We will not allow people of faith to be bullied, targeted or silenced any more, and we will never stand for religious discrimination, never ever...tolerance is the cornerstone of peace."
  • "No American should be forced to choose between the dictates of the federal government and the tenets of their faith... freedom is not a gift from government, freedom is a gift from God."
  • "My first foreign trip as POTUS will be to Saudi Arabia, then to Israel ,and then to place my cardinals love very much — Rome."
  • Trump said he will meet "with our Muslim allies" from across the Middle East in Saudia Arabia to discuss combating terror.

Go deeper

Biden formally secures Democratic presidential nomination

Joe Biden speaks at Delaware State University's student cente on June 5. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden became the formal Democratic presidential nominee on Friday evening, per AP.

The big picture: Biden has been the presumptive frontrunner to take on President Trump since Sen. Bernie Sanders suspended his campaign in early April.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 6,724.516 — Total deaths: 394,018 — Total recoveries — 2,996,832Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 1,894,753 — Total deaths: 109,042 — Total recoveries: 491,706 — Total tested: 19,231,444Map.
  3. Public health: WHCA president says White House violated social-distancing guidelines to make reporters "a prop" — Jailing practices contribute to spread.
  4. Sports: How coronavirus could reshuffle the sports calendar.
  5. Jobs: Better-than-expected jobs report boosts stock market.
  6. Media: The Athletic lays off 8% of staff, implements company-wide pay cut.

Scoop: German foreign minister to travel to Israel with warning on annexation

Heiko Maas. Photo: Michael Kappeler/picture alliance via Getty Images

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas is expected to travel to Israel next week to warn that there will be consequences if Israeli leaders move forward with plans to annex parts of the West Bank, Israeli officials and European diplomats tell me.

Why it matters: Israeli and European officials agree that if Israel goes ahead with unilateral annexation, the EU will respond with sanctions.