Sean Spicer became the first White House Press Secretary yesterday to field questions via Skype from remote reporters. Journalists in Rhode Island, Ohio and Kentucky got questions. Another went to the Oregon-based conservative talk host Lars Larsen.

The Skypers went local: Questions for Spicer included coal for Kentucky; whether Providence, R.I. is a sanctuary city; and economic revitalization in Cleveland, Ohio.

And some were softballs: Jeff Jobe, a publisher in South Central Kentucky, opened his question by praising Trump for "aggressively acting" on his election promises. Overall, however, they shifted the conversation out of Washington and into the states.

Why this matters: This move is a double whammy for Trump: It throws shade at "the swamp" and wins the President populist cred. The White House communications shop is still contemplating the frequency of the Skype sessions and how many questions will be allowed each time. But they're here to stay and we bet they're just the start of some pretty disruptive changes in White House communications.

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AOC to speak at Dem convention

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez during an April a press conference in Queens, New York City. Photo: Scott Heins/Getty Images)

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will speak at the Democratic convention next week, to give the nominating speech for Sen. Bernie Sanders on the Tuesday night, CNN first reported and Axios has confirmed.

Why it matters: Her involvement is a strategic decision to energize young progressives without tying former Vice President Joe Biden too closely or directly with her agenda.

Updated 52 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8:30 p.m. ET: 20,001,019 — Total deaths: 733,897 — Total recoveries — 12,209,074Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8:30 p.m. ET: 5,085,821 — Total deaths: 163,370 — Total recoveries: 1,670,755 — Total tests: 62,513,174Map.
  3. Politics: Trump claims he would have not called for Obama to resign over 160,000 virus deathsHouse will not hold votes until Sept. 14 unless stimulus deal is reached.
  4. Business: Richer Americans are more comfortable eating out.
  5. Public health: A dual coronavirus and flu threat is set to deliver a winter from hellAt least 48 local public health leaders have quit or been fired during pandemic.
  6. Sports: The cost of kids losing gym class — College football is on the brink.
  7. World: Europe's CDC recommends new restrictions amid "true resurgence in cases."
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Protests in Belarus turn deadly following sham election

An arrest today in Minsk. Photo: Natalia Fedosenko/TASS via Getty

Protesters and security forces are clashing across Belarus tonight, with at least one person dead, hundreds injured and thousands arrested.

Why it matters: Sunday’s rigged presidential elections have yielded political uncertainty unlike any seen in Aleksander Lukashenko’s 26-year tenure. After claiming an implausible 80% of the vote, Lukashenko is using every tool in the authoritarian arsenal to maintain his grip on power.