Jan 11, 2017

What mattered at Trump's first press conference since July

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Big picture: This was Trump's first press conference since winning the election, and it showed.

The shiny object: Trump again clashed with the press, calling BuzzFeed a "failing pile of garbage" and refusing to answer a question from CNN reporter Jim Acosta. That stemmed from BuzzFeed publishing an unverified dossier claiming Russia sought financial and personal leverage over Trump.

The news: Answers on his business, the Russia hacks, a name for VA Secretary, and timelines on the SCOTUS, the Mexico wall and Obamacare.

  1. Trump announced he's declining to create a blind trust for his business. He'll instead turn over his management role to his sons. His business will have to abide by "severe restrictions on all new deals," and gifts from foreign governments will go to charity.
  2. He named an Obama nominee to run Veterans Affairs: David Shulkin is currently the department's undersecretary. He was appointed in 2015, after the VA scandal broke.
  3. And conceded that he thinks Russia is behind the hacks: But said that the DNC was so poorly defended it was begging to be hacked. Trump added that he doesn't think the RNC was hacked, and that the result of the Russian hacking was to expose wrongdoing by Democrats.
  4. Trump's message to Putin: "He shouldn't be doing it, he won't be doing it."
  5. He claimed to have no business ties to Russia: "No loans, no dealings and no current pending deals."
  6. And gave a timeline on Obamacare: Trump will wait until after Tom Price is confirmed as HHS Secretary, then push a repeal-and-replace plan. He said it will be "almost instantaneously."
  7. The PEOTUS said Mike Pence is his point man on the wall with Mexico: He promised Mexico will pay, "whether it's a tax or a payment."
  8. And he announced he'll decide on a Supreme Court justice nominee within two weeks of taking office.

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Updated 4 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 1 p.m. ET: 5,851,494 — Total deaths: 362,238 — Total recoveries — 2,445,181Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 1 p.m. ET: 1,729,185 — Total deaths: 101,706 — Total recoveries: 399,991 — Total tested: 15,646,041Map.
  3. 2020: North Carolina asks RNC if convention will honor Trump's wish for no masks or social distancing.
  4. Public health: Hydroxychloroquine prescription fills exploded in March —How the U.S. might distribute a vaccine.
  5. Transportation: National mobility keeps rising as more states reopen economies.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Saying goodbye to U.S. megacities.

Obama on George Floyd's death: "This shouldn't be 'normal'"

Photo: Getty Images/Getty Images for EIF & XQ

Former President Obama said in a statement Friday that the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who was killed by a white Minneapolis police officer, "shouldn't be 'normal' in 2020 America."

What he's saying: "[W]e have to remember that for millions of Americans being treated differently on account of race is tragically, painfully, maddeningly 'normal' — whether it’s while dealing with the health care system, or interacting with the criminal justice system, or jogging down the street, or watching birds in a park."

Trump's big, empty beef with Twitter

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump finally acted on his now year-old threat to take action against social media platforms for alleged bias against conservatives. But so far, according to experts in both government and the industry, the threat looks mostly empty.

Driving the news: Trump escalated his war on Twitter Friday morning, tweeting repeatedly that the company needs to be regulated after it overnight added a warning label to a tweet of his calling for the military to start shooting looters, which violated Twitter’s rules against glorifying violence.