White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders calls on reporters. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders defended Ronny Jackson, President Trump's pick to head the Veterans Affairs Department, saying that he has an "impeccable" record and has been vetted numerous times for various posts under previous administrations, which unearthed "no areas of concerns."

"Dr. Jackson's record as a White House physician has been impeccable. In fact, because Dr. Jackson has worked within arm's reach of 3 presidents he has received more vetting than most nominees... A very thorough investigation and vetting process has taken place."
— Sanders told reporters

Sanders said the White House will “certainly look into” allegations that Jackson drank excessively on the job, referring to the reports as “outrageous.” She said he’s highly qualified and respected in the medical and military communities.

  • Sanders added he has “undergone four separate background checks,” however, she didn’t say whether the current administration vet Jackson beyond the regular background check.

When asked about the latest ruling on DACA that concluded protections must stay in place, Sanders said the order was "extraordinarily broad," and that its "good news for smuggling organizations and criminal networks and horrible news for our national security."

Sanders declined to say whether the White House will disavow the president’s call for a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the U.S.," in reference to the latest travel ban the Supreme Court heard Wednesday.

Pressed about the U.S. recent drop in press freedom ranks, Sanders defended the White House's relationship with the press saying, "we certainly would reject the idea that the president, this administration, has halted freedom of the press. I think we're one of the most accessible administrations that we've seen in decades.”

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Natural gas pipeline project cancelled after Supreme Court victory

Photo: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Dominion Energy announced Sunday it has agreed to sell its natural gas transmission and storage network to Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway in a deal valued at $10 billion, including the assumption of debt.

Why it matters: The deal comes as Duke Energy Corp. and Dominion Energy announced they are canceling their plans for the $8 billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline following a Supreme Court ruling. The ruling removed major hurdles for the companies, but "recent developments have created an unacceptable layer of uncertainty and anticipated" for the project.

Trump campaign "strongly" encourages face masks at outdoor rally

Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The Trump campaign will be providing face masks and hand sanitizer for all attendees at an upcoming rally Saturday in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

  • The campaign said in an email on Sunday that attendees are "strongly encouraged" to wear the masks.

Why it matters: The campaign's first coronavirus-era rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, was notable for its lack of masks.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 11,317,637 — Total deaths: 531,729 — Total recoveries — 6,111,910Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 2,852,807 — Total deaths: 129,718 — Total recoveries: 894,325 — Total tested: 34,858,427Map.
  3. States: Photos of America's pandemic July 4 ICU beds in Arizona hot spot near capacity — Houston mayor warns about hospitals
  4. Public health: U.S. coronavirus infections hit record highs for 3 straight days.
  5. Politics: Former Trump official Tom Bossert says face masks “are not enough”
  6. World: Mexican leaders call for tighter border control as infections rise in U.S.
  7. Sports: Sports return stalked by coronavirus
  8. 1 📽 thing: Drive-in movie theaters are making a comeback.