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Sanders quiets a reporter and fields a question from another one. Photo: AP

Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Tuesday President Trump's tweet that Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand "would do anything" for campaign contributions wasn't a sexual innuendo. "Only if your mind is in the gutter would you have read it that way," she said. Sanders added that Trump was referring to political "corruption."

Sanders argued that Trump had used similar terminology many times to refer to both male and female politicians of both parties. "There's no way that this is sexist at all," she said.

  • Does Trump want a second special counsel to investigate the investigators? "I think it's something that certainly causes a lot of concern not just for the president and the administration but for all Americans... this looks really bad and this is something we should definitely look at."
  • On Sen. Gillibrand: "I'm talking about the fact that she's controlled by special interests, I'm talking about the fact that she's a wholly owned subsidiary of people who donate to her campaign, she's a puppet for Chuck Schumer."
  • On foreign autocrats using "fake news" to deflect criticism: "I think the White House is concerned about false and inaccurate information being pushed out to mislead the American people," Sanders said, dodging the question.

At the top of the briefing, Dept. of Homeland Security official Lee Cissna talked immigration reform in light of the recent attempted terror attack in New York. The suspect, a Bangladeshi national, entered the U.S. through family connections via chain migration, he said. Cissna also said the U.S.'s diversity visa program "is wracked with fraud" and "vulnerable to exploitation by terrorists."

Go deeper

N.Y. Times faces culture clashes as business booms

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

New York Times columnist David Brooks' resignation from a paid gig at a think tank on Saturday is the latest in a flurry of scandals that America's biggest and most successful newspaper company has endured in the past year.

Driving the news: Brooks resigned from the Aspen Institute following a BuzzFeed News investigation that uncovered conflicts of interest between Brooks' reporting and money he accepted from corporate donors for a project called "Weave" that he worked on at the nonprofit.

America rebalances its post-Trump news diet

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Nearly halfway through President Biden's first 100 days, data shows that Americans are learning to wean themselves off of news — and especially politics.

Why it matters: The departure of former President Trump's once-ubiquitous presence in the news cycle has reoriented the country's attention.

2021 sees a record number of bills targeting trans youth

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Republicans in at least 25 states have introduced over 60 bills targeting transgender children — a legislative boom since January that has beaten 2020's total number of anti-trans bills.

Why it matters: LGBTQ advocates say the unprecedented push was catalyzed by backlash to Biden's election and the Supreme Court ruling that workers cannot be fired for being gay or transgender.