White House deputy press secretary Raj Shah. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

White House deputy press secretary Raj Shah on Thursday criticized a campaign ad from a Democratic House candidate in Virginia that compares President Donald Trump to Osama bin Laden as “nothing short of reprehensible.”

"Leaders from across the political spectrum — starting with Leader Pelosi — must swiftly condemn this abhorrent message."
— Raj Shah, per a White House press pool report.

The backdrop: The candidate, Dan Helmer, is running in a crowded field for Virginia’s 10th congressional district. He’s seeking to unseat Rep. Barbara Comstock, who’s reportedly one of the most vulnerable House Republicans.

  • Drew Hammill, a spokesman for Pelosi, told Politico that the Minority Leader “does not condone the end of this ad,” adding that “if the president wants to join in raising the level of civility in politics, he should begin with himself.”

Go deeper

Trump whisked out of press briefing after shooting outside White House

President Trump was escorted out of a coronavirus press briefing by a Secret Service agent on Monday after law enforcement reportedly shot an armed suspect outside of the White House.

The state of play: Trump returned to the podium approximately ten minutes later and informed reporters of the news. He said the suspect has been taken to the hospital, but was unable to provide more details and said Secret Service may give a briefing later. The president praised the Secret Services agents, saying they do a "fantastic job" and he feels "very safe" with their protection.

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.

Updated 27 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5:30 p.m. ET: 19,952,057 — Total deaths: 732,689 — Total recoveries — 12,150,698Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 5:30 p.m. ET: 5,074,059 — Total deaths: 163,275 — Total recoveries: 1,656,864 — Total tests: 61,792,571Map.
  3. Politics: House 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."
Updated 50 mins ago - Health

5 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week

Data: Compiled by Axios; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Five states set new highs last week for coronavirus infections recorded in a single day, according to the COVID Tracking Project and state health departments. Only one state — North Dakota — surpassed a record set the previous week.

Why it matters: This is the lowest number of states to see dramatic single-day increases since Axios began tracking weekly highs in June, and marks a continued decrease from late July.