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Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Thursday that President Trump was disappointed in Jeff Sessions for recusing himself from the Russia investigation, but "clearly he has confidence in him or he would not be the attorney general." As for whether Trump wants Sessions to resign? "If he wanted someone to take an action, he would make that quite clear," said Sanders. Other highlights from the off-camera briefing:

Sarah Sanders:

  • Was Trump undermining his admin officials in the NYT interview? Sanders disagrees, said Trump was just "being very candid about feelings that he has."
  • On Robert Mueller: "The president is making clear that the special counsel should not move outside of the scope of the investigation." As for whether he'd fire him? "Although the president has the authority... [he] has no intention to do so at this time."
  • Does Trump regret saying McCain wasn't a war hero (in light of news he has brain cancer)? "I'm not sure about that."

WH Budget Director Mick Mulvaney

  • Visual presentation on MAGAnomics: Centers on 3% economic growth (despite the CBO's estimate of 1.9%).
  • Regulations: The administration is committed to "the war on waste." Since Trump's inauguration, 860 regulatory actions have been rolled back. Mulvaney then lifted up a massive stack of Obama regulations, and said they were all passed in the final months of his administration.
  • Mulvaney as a self-proclaimed deficit hawk: "I'm ok with larger deficits in the short term if the trade off is 3 percent growth."

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Updated 48 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 12,859,834 — Total deaths: 567,123 — Total recoveries — 7,062,085Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 3,297,501— Total deaths: 135,155 — Total recoveries: 1,006,326 — Total tested: 40,282,176Map.
  3. States: Florida smashes single-day record for new coronavirus cases with over 15,000 — NYC reports zero coronavirus deaths for first time since pandemic hit.
  4. Public health: Ex-FDA chief projects "apex" of South's coronavirus curve in 2-3 weeks — Coronavirus testing czar: Lockdowns in hotspots "should be on the table"
  5. Education: Betsy DeVos says schools that don't reopen shouldn't get federal funds — Pelosi accuses Trump of "messing with the health of our children."

Scoop: How the White House is trying to trap leakers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Trump's chief of staff, Mark Meadows, has told several White House staffers he's fed specific nuggets of information to suspected leakers to see if they pass them on to reporters — a trap that would confirm his suspicions. "Meadows told me he was doing that," said one former White House official. "I don't know if it ever worked."

Why it matters: This hunt for leakers has put some White House staffers on edge, with multiple officials telling Axios that Meadows has been unusually vocal about his tactics. So far, he's caught only one person, for a minor leak.

11 GOP congressional nominees support QAnon conspiracy

Lauren Boebert posing in her restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, on April 24. Photo: Emily Kask/AFP

At least 11 Republican congressional nominees have publicly supported or defended the QAnon conspiracy theory movement or some of its tenets — and more aligned with the movement may still find a way onto ballots this year.

Why it matters: Their progress shows how a fringe online forum built on unsubstantiated claims and flagged as a threat by the FBI is seeking a foothold in the U.S. political mainstream.