Nov 29, 2017

White House: Even if anti-Muslim videos Trump shared are fake, "threat is real"

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders. Photo: Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters on Wednesday that the question of whether the anti-Muslim videos President Trump retweeted Wednesday morning are real is beside the point because "the threat is real," per CNN.

"Whether it is a real video, the threat is real...that is what the President is talking about, that is what the President is focused on is dealing with those real threats, and those are real no matter how you look at it."

Why it matters: The videos, originally tweeted from a far-right British account, have brought back criticism of Trump's rhetoric and proposals concerning Muslims. Sanders said she didn't know how the videos got in front of Trump, CNN reports, but that Trump's goal in retweeting them was "to promote strong borders and strong national security." By focusing on if the videos are real or not, reporters are "focusing on the wrong thing," per CNN.

Go deeper

Coronavirus kills 2 Diamond Princess passengers and South Korea sees first death

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. U.S. numbers include Americans extracted from Princess Cruise ship.

Two elderly Diamond Princess passengers have been killed by the novel coronavirus — the first deaths confirmed among the more than 600 infected aboard the cruise ship. South Korea also announced its first death Thursday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed more than 2,200 people and infected over 75,465 others, mostly in mainland China, where the National Health Commission announced 118 new deaths since Thursday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 54 mins ago - Health

SoftBank to cut its stake to get T-Mobile's Sprint deal done

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

T-Mobile and Sprint announced a revised merger agreement that will see SoftBank getting a smaller share of the combined company, while most shareholders will receive the previously agreed upon exchange rate. The companies said they hope to get the deal as early as April 1.

Why it matters: The amended deal reflects the decline in Sprint's business, while leaving most shareholders' stake intact and removing another hurdle to the deal's closure.