Trump went off-topic during a press conference on infrastructure today, doubling-down on his "on many sides" comment after the violence in Charlottesville last weekend. "I think there is blame on both sides. I have no doubt about it and you don't have any doubt about it either."

More highlights:

  • Trump said the "alt-left" is partially responsible for the weekend's violence, but argued "nobody wants to say that."
  • "I didn't wait too long" to condemn the KKK/white nationalists.
  • "I would say that's up to a local town community or the federal government" whether to remove a Robert E. Lee statue. He added, "George Washington was a slave owner, are we gonna take down his statues? Is it Thomas Jefferson next week? Where does it stop?"
  • "[Steve Bannon] is not a racist, I can tell you that. He's a good person. We'll see what happens with Mr. Bannon."

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Trump's new TikTok threat

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump said twice Monday that the U.S. Treasury would need to get a portion of the sale price of TikTok, as a condition of regulatory approval.

Why it matters: This is akin to extortion — the sort of thing you'd expect to hear on a wiretap, not from the White House in front of reporters.

Ford names James Farley as new CEO amid ongoing turnaround effort

James Hackett, left, is retiring as Ford CEO. Jim Farley, right, takes over Oct. 1. Photo: Ford

Ford announced Tuesday that James Farley will take over as its next CEO, replacing James Hackett, 65, who is retiring after three years in the job.

Why it matters: It leaves Farley to complete the company's ongoing turnaround effort. The transition will be that much harder as the industry tries to navigate the coronavirus-induced economic slowdown which shuttered Ford plants for two months on the eve of some of its most important vehicle launches.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Watch the full "Axios on HBO" interview with President Trump

In this episode of “Axios on HBO”, President Trump discusses his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, the upcoming election and much more with National Political Correspondent Jonathan Swan.

The interview was filmed on Tuesday, July 28 and aired Monday, Aug. 3 on HBO.