Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

Newly-appointed Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Trump's decision to bar transgender people from serving in the U.S. military was "based on a military decision. It's not meant to be anything more than that." She also claimed that the Obama-era policy enabling the Pentagon to fund gender transition surgery is "a very expensive and disruptive policy."

When asked what will happen to transgender members of the military currently serving overseas, Sanders couldn't answer, but stated that the DoD and WH will have to work together "as implementation takes place and is done so lawfully."

Live updates:

  • On Sessions criticism: "You can be disappointed in someone and still want them to continue to do their job."
  • Why doesn't Trump fire acting FBI Director McCabe himself rather than asking Sessions to do it? The president is looking forward to having Christopher Wray come in and replace him.
  • Education donation: President Trump is donating his second quarter salary, $100k, to the Department of Education.
  • On being a mom: "To the best of my knowledge, I am the first press secretary who is also a mom... that says less about me than it does this president."
  • Letters to the President: Sanders said she plans to start some briefings by reading a letter or email that is sent to the WH. Today she read one from a 9-year-old.

Go deeper

Parties trade election influence accusations at Big Tech hearing

Photo: Michael Reynolds/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

A Senate hearing Wednesday with Big Tech CEOs became the backdrop for Democrats and Republicans to swap accusations of inappropriate electioneering.

Why it matters: Once staid tech policy debates are quickly becoming a major focal point of American culture and political wars, as both parties fret about the impact of massive social networks being the new public square.

1 hour ago - World

Germany goes back into lockdown

Photo: Fabrizio Bensch/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will enact one of Europe's strictest coronavirus lockdowns since spring, closing bars and restaurants nationwide for most of November, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: Germany is the latest European country to reimpose some form of lockdown measures amid a surge in cases across the continent.

How overhyping became an election meddling tool

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

As online platforms and intelligence officials get more sophisticated about detecting and stamping out election meddling campaigns, bad actors are increasingly seeing the appeal of instead exaggerating their own interference capabilities to shake Americans' confidence in democracy.

Why it matters: It doesn't take a sophisticated operation to sow seeds of doubt in an already fractious and factionalized U.S. Russia proved that in 2016, and fresh schemes aimed at the 2020 election may already be proving it anew.