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President Trump said Friday he doesn't "know anything about" the White House pandemic office his administration disbanded in 2018.

Reporter: Thank you, Mr. President. Yamiche Alcindor from PBS NewsHour. My first question is you said that you don't take responsibility, but you did disband the White House pandemic office, and the officials that were working in that office left this administration abruptly. So what responsibility do you take to that? And the officials that worked in that office said that the White House lost valuable time because that office was disbanded. What do you make of that?"
President Trump: "Well, I just think it's a nasty question, because what we've done is, and Tony [Fauci] has said numerous times, that we've saved thousands of lives because of the quick closing. And when you say me, I didn't do it. We have a group of people. I could perhaps ask Tony about that, because I don't know anything about it. I mean, you say we did that. I don't know anything about it."
Reporter: "You don't know about the reorganization that happened at the National Security Council?"
Trump: "It's the administration, perhaps they do that, let people do, you used to be with a different newspaper than you are now, you know things like that happen." 
Reporter: "But this is a reorganization at the National Security Council."
Trump: "Please go ahead. We're doing a great job. Let me tell you, these professionals behind me, these great, incredible doctors and businesses people, the best in the world, and I can say that, whether it's retailers or labs or anything you want to say, these are the best in the world. We're doing a great job. And we are 40 people right now, 40, compare that with other countries that have many, many times that amount, and one of the reasons we have 40 and others have, and again, that number is going up, just so you understand. And the number of cases, which are very small relatively speaking, it's going up. We've done a great job, because we acted quickly, we acted early, and there's nothing we could have done that was better than closing our borders to highly infected areas."

Context: The White House disbanded the global health security team in 2018 following a shake-up by then-national security adviser John Bolton.

Go deeper

Hundreds of corporations sign statement opposing restrictive voting bills

Former American Express CEO Kenneth Chenault. Photo: Earl Gibson III/WireImage)

Hundreds of companies and executives released a letter on Wednesday condemning legislation that restricts "any eligible voter from having an equal and fair opportunity to cast a ballot," per the New York Times.

Why it matters: It's the most concerted action yet by big business in opposition to GOP-sponsored bills at the state level that limit mail-in ballots, implement new voter ID requirements and slash registration options, among other measures.

43 mins ago - Axios Twin Cities

Brooklyn Center mayor in the spotlight after Daunte Wright shooting

Mike Elliott has moved swiftly after the death of Daunte Wright. Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images)

The killing of Daunte Wright by a Brooklyn Center, Minn., police officer has thrust Mayor Mike Elliott into the national spotlight.

The big picture: Elliott, with the backing of the city council, has acted quickly and boldly in the wake of the shooting. He fired longtime city manager Curt Boganey, took control of the police department and called for the firing of officer Kim Potter, who resigned on Tuesday.

Exclusive: White House meeting with members of Problem Solvers Caucus

Members of the Problem Solvers Caucus discuss the COVID-19 relief bill in December. Photo: Oliver Contreras/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Top White House officials will meet Wednesday with a bipartisan coalition of House lawmakers as the administration tries to enlist moderates to support the president's infrastructure proposal.

Why it matters: The meeting is something of an olive branch after President Biden's team courted groups of progressives to back the $2.2 trillion package.