Asked by CBS News' Catherine Herridge on Tuesday why Black Americans are still dying at the hands of police, President Trump responded: "And so are white people. So are white people. What a terrible question to ask."

Why it matters: A 2018 study found that Black men are about 3.5 times more likely to be killed by law enforcement than their white counterparts.

  • A second study in 2019 found that out of every 1,000 black men in the U.S., one will likely die at the hands of police.
  • Trump claimed that "more white people" are killed by police, but white Americans comprise a larger portion of the population than Black people and other minorities.

The big picture: Trump, who has faced backlash for his response to nationwide protests against the police killing of George Floyd, defended his attacks on the movement to take down Confederate statues and symbols by claiming that it's a "freedom of speech" issue.

What he's saying: "All I say is freedom of speech. It's very simple. My attitude is freedom of speech. Very strong views on the Confederate flag. With me, it's freedom of speech. Very simple. Like it, don't like it, it's freedom of speech."

  • "Well people love it," Trump said in response to whether he knows about the painful history of the Confederate flag. "I know people that like the Confederate flag and they're not thinking about slavery. I look at NASCAR — you go to NASCAR, you had those flags all over the place. They stopped it."
  • Asked how he would feel about supporters displaying the Confederate flag at campaign events, Trump responded: "You know, it depends on what your definition is. But I am comfortable with freedom of speech. It's very simple."

Go deeper

Exclusive: Bob Johnson lays out his solution for wealth inequality

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images

After reading Axios' 10 myths about the racial wealth gap, BET co-founder and entrepreneur Robert L. Johnson is issuing a challenge to politicians, civic leaders and Black organizations across the country: Refute the findings or lay out a set of actionable solutions.

What he's saying: And if they can't, "they need to have the courage to stand up to Black people and say, 'You are perpetually a second-class economic population in America,'" Johnson said during an hourlong one-on-one interview Sunday.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine tests positive for coronavirus ahead of Trump visit

Photo: Justin Merriman/Getty Images

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) has tested positive for COVID-19 and plans to quarantine at his home for the next 14 days, his office announced Thursday. He currently has no symptoms.

Why it matters: The 73-year-old DeWine was set to meet President Trump Thursday on the tarmac at an airport in Cleveland and was tested as part of standard protocol. He is the second governor known to have contracted the coronavirus, after Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R).

Updated 29 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 p.m. ET: 18,860,908 — Total deaths: 708,676— Total recoveries — 11,394,821Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 p.m. ET: 4,834,546 — Total deaths: 158,445 — Total recoveries: 1,577,851 — Total tests: 58,920,975Map.
  3. Politics: Pelosi rips GOP: "Perhaps you mistook them for somebody who gives a damn" — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine tests positive.
  4. Public health: Fauci says task force will examine aerosolized spread.
  5. Business: July's jobs report could be an inflection point for the recovery — Teladoc and Livongo merge into virtual care giant.
  6. Sports: Where college football's biggest conferences stand on playing.