Jan 15, 2018

Trump's "shithole" comments continue to rile Washington

Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

So far this year, President Trump has felt it necessary to declare publicly that he's "not a racist” and that he's "a very stable genius" — and it's Jan. 15.

This morning on "Fox & Friends," which gets the president's attention like no other news show, Brian Kilmeade had this advice for Trump on his heated immigration remarks: "If the president wants to get ahead of this, to get momentum, he should make it clear: He's commenting on the countries, not the people in those countries. I would love for the president to go out and clarify the remarks."

That followed contortions on Sunday shows by Republicans who were in the Oval Office meeting:

  • The WashPost's Josh Dawsey tweeted last night: "White House official told me tonight there is debate internally on whether Trump said 'shithole' or 'shithouse.' [Republicans Sens. David Perdue of Georgia and Tom Cotton of Arkansas] seem to have heard latter, this person said, and are using to deny."

As the president headed into dinner at his Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach last evening, he was asked this not-normal question: "What do you say to people who say you're a racist?"

  • Trump answered: "No, no, I'm not a racist.  I am the least racist person you have ever interviewed, that I can tell you."

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China reopens Wuhan after 10-week coronavirus lockdown

People wearing facemasks stand near Yangtze River in Wuhan. Photo: HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP via Getty Images

China has lifted its lockdown of Wuhan, the city in Hubei province where the coronavirus outbreak was first reported in December, according to the New York Times.

Why it matters: As cases surged in January, China took the draconian step of sealing off the city of 11 million and shutting down its economy — a response that was viewed at the time as only possible in an authoritarian system, but which has since been adopted by governments around the world.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 1 p.m. ET: 1,381,014— Total deaths: 78,269 — Total recoveries: 292,973Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 1 p.m. ET: 378,289 — Total deaths: 11,830 — Total recoveries: 20,003Map.
  3. Trump administration latest: Trump removes watchdog overseeing rollout of $2 trillion coronavirus bill
  4. Federal government latest: Senate looks to increase coronavirus relief for small businesses this week — Testing capacity is still lagging far behind demand.
  5. States update: New York death toll surged to its highest one-day total as state predicts a plateau in hospitalizations.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: The race to reopen America
  7. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal health. Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Trump removes watchdog overseeing rollout of $2 trillion coronavirus bill

Glenn Fine, acting Pentagon watchdog

President Trump on Monday replaced the Pentagon's acting Inspector General Glenn Fine, who had been selected to chair the panel overseeing the rollout of the $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill passed last month, Politico first reported.

Why it matters: A group of independent federal watchdogs selected Fine to lead the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee, but Fine's removal from his Pentagon job prevents him from being able to serve in that position — since the law only allows sitting inspectors general to fill the role.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 29 mins ago - Politics & Policy