Mar 26, 2018

White House: Trump denies Stormy Daniels' claims

President Donald Trump. Photo" Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

White House Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah told reporters during Monday's White House press briefing that President Trump "strongly, clearly, and consistently has denied" adult film actress Stormy Daniels' claims of a 2006 affair and subsequent intimidation to keep her quiet. He also would not address whether Trump had seen Daniels' interview with Anderson Cooper on CBS' "60 Minutes" last night, saying, "There are clips of it playing all over in the morning news shows."

Passing the buck: Shah also refused to comment on the $130,000 payment made to Daniels by Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen: "False charges are settled out of court all the time. You have to ask Michael Cohen about the specifics."

Other highlights:

  • On the future of VA Secretary David Shulkin: "I have no personnel announcements to make."
  • On the Iran nuclear deal: "The president’s been very clear since January…in fact, it goes back years. … If changes aren’t made, the president is prepared to potentially withdraw from the agreement."
  • On rumors that Kim Jong-un is in Beijing: "We can’t confirm those reports. We don’t know if they’re necessarily true. … We’re looking forward to a potential summit some months in advance."
  • On this weekend's March for Our Lives: "The president does respect everyone’s First Amendment right and wants their voices to be heard."

Go deeper

Trump calls to fill up more places with oil

President Trump is calling on the Energy Department to find more places to store oil, in the wake of rock-bottom prices and an ensuing economic collapse of the sector itself.

Driving the news: Trump’s comments came Friday during a televised portion of a meeting he hosted with industry CEOs to discuss ways to help the sector. It’s reeling from a historic drop-off in demand with the world shutting down to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4:30 p.m. ET: 1,083,084 — Total deaths: 58,243 — Total recoveries: 225,422Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4:30 p.m. ET: 266,671 — Total deaths: 6,921 — Total recoveries: 9,445Map.
  3. 2020 latest: Wisconsin governor calls for last-minute primary election delay.
  4. Oil latest: The amount of gasoline American drivers are consuming dropped to levels not seen in more than 25 years, government data shows.
  5. Business updates: America's small business bailout is off to a bad start.
  6. U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt: Senators call for independent investigation into firing of Navy captain.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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America's small business bailout is off to a bad start

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Websites have crashed, phones are jammed and confusion reigns as businesses rushed at today's kickoff to get their chunk of the $350 billion Paycheck Protection Program.

Why it matters: This is a race to save jobs in the present and the future, and to ensure that as many workers as possible keep their benefits and paychecks during the coronavirus lockdown.