Reporters's hands shoot up for questions during a White House briefing. Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

"It's absolutely laughable" to believe that Trump would run a campaign without the intention of winning, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said, responding to a claim in Michael Wolff's new book that no one in the campaign wanted Trump to win. That's "one of the most ridiculous claims in the book," she said.

Another falsehood in the book is that Trump did not know who former House Speaker John Boehner was, Sanders added.

  • The West Wing cell phone ban has nothing to do with the publication of excerpts from the new book, Sanders told reporters.
  • Sanders called Wolff's book "some trash from an author no one has ever heard of before today."
  • The White House denied "at least two dozen" requests from Wolff to sit down with the president for his book, per Sanders.
  • Breitbart should "consider" parting ways with Bannon, Sanders said.
  • "The president absolutely believes in the First Amendment, but as we've said before, the president also believes in making sure that information is accurate before pushing it out as fact," Sanders said.
  • Is Gary Cohn on his way out? Sanders has "no reason to know of any personnel change."

One more thing: The briefing opened with a video message from Trump — unusual, as he presumably could have appeared in person — touting the tax cuts law.

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Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Updated 1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Winter coronavirus threat spurs new surge of startup activity

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

U.S. coronavirus cases and hospitalizations are surging, with cold weather arriving before even the best-case scenario for a widely distributed vaccine. Now we're also beginning to see an increase in coronavirus-related startup funding, focused on both testing and pharma.

Driving the news: Gauss, a Silicon Valley computer vision startup focused on health care, tells Axios that it's raised $10 million to accelerate development and commercialization of an at-home rapid antigen test for COVID-19.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Axios-Ipsos poll: Federal response has only gotten worse — The swing states where the pandemic is raging.
  2. Health: Hospitals face a crush — 13 states set single-day case records last week.
  3. Business: Winter threat spurs new surge of startup activity.
  4. Media: Pandemic causes TV providers to lose the most subscribers ever.
  5. States: Nearly two dozen Minnesota cases traced to three Trump campaign events.
  6. World: Unrest in Italy as restrictions grow across Europe.

Ted Cruz defends GOP's expected return to prioritizing national debt

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) told "Axios on HBO" on Monday that he wishes reining in the national debt was a higher priority for President Trump.

Why it matters: Trump pledged during the 2016 campaign to reduce the national debt and eliminate it entirely within eight years, though he also deemed himself "the king of debt" and said there were some priorities that required spending. In the fiscal year that ended in September, the deficit reached a record $3.1 trillion.