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Harris on Woodward's book: "I find it so outrageous"

During an in-person campaign stop in Florida, Sen. Kamala Harris addressed the reporting in Bob Woodward's book "Rage," in which he wrote that President Trump said he down-played the severity of the coronavirus in March.

Driving the news: Harris said Thursday that Trump is engaged "in reckless disregard of the lives and health and well being" of the American people, per a pool report from her roundtable at Florida Memorial University. "I find it so outrageous."


  • In March, Trump told Woodward: "I wanted to always play it down. I still like playing it down, because I don't want to create a panic."

What she's saying: Harris participated in a roundtable discussion centered around challenges facing the African American community in South Florida, but she addressed the new reporting at the top.

  • "So, basically what we are hearing is that on Jan. 28, the president and the vice president were informed about the imminence and the dangers of COVID-19," she said.
  • She admonished the president — "who has the unique and very important and special responsibility of concerning himself with keeping the American people safe" — for later calling the coronavirus "a hoax" and dismissing "the seriousness of it to the point he suggested people should not wear masks."
  • Harris continued: "He knew it was airborne that people would breathe it."

Why it matters: Democrats are already airing ads using Trump's own words against him to further convince voters that he mishandled the pandemic and it didn't have to be this way, with 190,000 Americans dead — and counting.

Go deeper: Why Trump talked to Woodward

Court battles shift mail-in voting deadlines in battleground states Michigan and Pennsylvania

Michigan joins Pennsylvania in extending mail-in ballot deadlines by several days after the election, due to the coronavirus pandemic and expected delays in U.S. Postal Service.

The latest: Michigan Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Stephens ruled that all ballots postmarked before Nov. 2 must be counted, so long as they arrive in the mail before election results are certified. Michigan will certify its general election results on Nov. 23.

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Interview: Unity CEO explains his company's unusual IPO

Unity Technologies was just one of many companies with blockbuster IPOs this week, but it took a decidedly different approach, using data rather than handshakes to decide who got to invest and at what price. CEO John Riccitiello explained why in an interview with Axios.

Why it matters: Traditionally, bankers and companies set IPO prices based on conversations and expectations, a process that has been criticized as basically leaving money on the table.

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Podcast: Taylor Lorenz on the Trump-TikTok ban

President Trump has 48 hours left to either follow through on his threatened ban of TikTok, or accept a proposed tech partnership with Oracle.

Axios Re:Cap digs into how the TikTok user community has reacted to this political drama, and what comes next, with New York Times tech reporter Taylor Lorenz.

Scoop: Trump, Pence criticize U.S. Chamber CEO in tense Friday call

President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence criticized the CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce during a bitter phone call Friday morning, venting their frustrations over its recent endorsement of nearly two dozen vulnerable House Democratic freshmen, two sources familiar with the call tell Axios.

Why it matters: Trump’s re-election is based largely on the idea that he has been a good steward of the economy, and if one of the largest business groups is seen as opposing him, it could undermine that case.

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Anxious days for airline workers as mass layoffs loom

The clock is ticking for tens of thousands of anxious airline employees, who face mass reductions when the government's current payroll support program expires on Sept. 30.

Where it stands: Airline CEOs met Thursday with White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, who said President Trump would support an additional $25 billion from Congress to extend the current aid package through next March.

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House Democrats ask DOJ watchdog for "emergency" probe of Durham's Trump-Russia investigation

Four Democratic House committee chairs on Friday asked the Justice Department's inspector general to launch an "emergency investigation" into whether Attorney General Bill Barr and U.S. Attorney John Durham, his appointee, are taking actions that could "improperly influence the upcoming presidential election."

Catch up quick: Last year, Barr tapped Durham to conduct a sweeping investigation into the origins of the FBI's 2016 Russia probe, after he and President Trump claimed that it was unjustified and a "hoax."

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U.S. nutritional supplements retailer takes first step to sell to China’s Harbin Pharma

GNC Holdings, the Pittsburgh-based nutritional supplements retailer, received bankruptcy court approval to sell itself to China’s Harbin Pharmafor $770 million, although the deal still faces U.S. political pressures over how GNC customer data is protected.

Why it matters: It's a reminder that the U.S.-China merger mess goes well beyond smartphone apps, with Sen. Marco Rubio asking for a CFIUS review.

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The cumulative climate change effects of Trump's regulatory rollbacks

Reproduced from Rhodium Climate Service; Chart: Axios Visuals

The Trump administration's scuttling or weakening of key Obama-era climate policies could together add 1.8 gigatons of carbon dioxide equivalent to the atmosphere by 2035, a Rhodium Group analysis concludes.

Why it matters: The 1.8 gigatons is "more than the combined energy emissions of Germany, Britain and Canada in one year," per the New York Times, which first reported on the study.

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