Oct 3, 2018

White House claims Trump was "stating facts" when mocking Ford

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders defended President Trump the day after he mocked Christine Blasey Ford's testimony during a campaign rally on Tuesday night, saying the president was "stating facts" and that both Brett Kavanaugh and Ford are victims of exploitation by Senate Democrats.

The backdrop: Last week, Trump described Ford's testimony as "very credible" before shifting his tone on Tuesday and mocking her account of the night she alleges Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her.

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Chinese coronavirus test maker agreed to build a Xinjiang gene bank

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

A leading Chinese gene sequencing and biomedical firm that said it would build a gene bank in Xinjiang is supplying coronavirus tests around the world.

Why it matters: U.S. officials are worried that widespread coronavirus testing may provide an opportunity for state-connected companies to compile massive DNA databases for research as well as genetics-based surveillance.

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Trump administration to ban Chinese airlines from flying to U.S.

An Air China aircraft landing in New York City in January 2020. Photo: Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The Department of Transportation announced Wednesday that Chinese passenger airlines will be banned from flying to the United States starting June 16.

Why it matters: Heated tensions between Washington and Beijing are now beginning to impact the airline industry, as the DOT has accused the Chinese government of preventing U.S. airlines from resuming flights to China after suspending them earlier this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Esper says he does not support use of military forces to quell protests

Defense Secretary Mark Esper said at a press briefing Wednesday that he does not support invoking the Insurrection Act, an 1807 law that permits the president to use active-duty troops on U.S. soil, in order to quell protests against racial injustice.

Why it matters: President Trump threatened this week to deploy military forces if state and local governments aren't able to squash violent protests. Axios reported on Wednesday that Trump is backing off the idea for now, but that he hasn't ruled it out.