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Lazaro Gamio / Axios

Sean Spicer told reporters at an off-camera White House briefing Friday that Trump is "very supportive" of the Senate health bill, and has been in contact with Mitch McConnell about where the bill will go next. Spicer also addressed questions regarding Trump's position on Medicaid cuts, and stated the president is "committed" to ensuring that those currently on Medicaid don't lose coverage. Other highlights:

  • Trump on Russian interference: "Of course, he's concerned about any country or any actor that wants to interfere in our elections," said Spicer, adding that Trump's taken steps to protect the election system and cyber security, pointing to the institution of an election commission.
  • On North Korea retaliation: Trump remains hopeful the U.S. can work with China to put pressure on NK. "He remains hopeful we can find a way forward."
  • On NK claiming they didn't harm Otto Warmbier: "I don't think it's a mystery. I think we know very well what happened."
  • Policy on Qatar: "We're willing to play a facilitating role... but that's a discussion those countries need to have themselves."
  • On Carrier laying off 600+ employees: Spicer said the jobs being lost to Mexico were already planned, and that the 1,069 job quota in deal will continue.
  • On Trump firing Special Counsel Mueller: "Nothing's changed on that... he has no intention of doing that."
  • Jared Kushner and Ivanka have accepted an invitation to visit China by the end of 2017.
  • Spicer reason for no cameras at briefing: "The President gave lengthy remarks earlier."
  • Update on Rep. Steve Scalise: "Good news," said Spicer, the House Majority Whip's conditions are continuing to improve.

Go deeper

15 mins ago - World

Biden freezes U.S. arms deals with Saudi Arabia and UAE

Trump struck several large arms deals with Mohammed bin Salman (L) and Saudi Arabia. Photo: Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images

The Biden administration has put on hold two big arms deals with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates which were approved in the final weeks of the Trump administration, a State Department official tells Axios.

Why it matters: The sales of F-35 jets and attack drones to the UAE and a large supply of munitions to Saudi Arabia will be paused pending a review. That signals a major policy shift from the Trump era, and may herald sharp tensions with both Gulf countries.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
54 mins ago - Podcasts

Robert Downey Jr. launches VC funds to help save the planet

Robert Downey Jr. on Wednesday announced the launch of two venture capital funds focused on startups in the sustainability sector, the latest evolution of a project he launched two years ago called Footprint Collective.

Between the lines: This is a bit of life imitating art, as Downey Jr. spent 11 films portraying a character who sought to save the planet (or, in some cases, the universe).

DHS warns of "heightened threat" because of domestic extremism

Supporters of former President Trump protest inside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Photo: Roberto Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images

The Department of Homeland Security on Wednesday issued an advisory warning of a "heightened threat environment" in the U.S. because of "ideologically-motivated violent extremists."

Why it matters: DHS believes the threat of violence will persist for "weeks" following President Biden's inauguration. The extremists include those who opposed the presidential transition, people spurred by "grievances fueled by false narratives" and "anger over COVID-19 restrictions ... and police use of force[.]"