Speed Reads

phase four

Trump seems to support further stimulus payments, says he's 'all for masks'

President Trump looks to be expressing support for another round of direct payments for Americans — though the specifics are far from clear.

Trump in an interview with Fox Business on Wednesday was asked if he supports more direct payments for individuals in another coronavirus relief bill. He said, "I do. I support it. But it has to be done properly. And I support actually larger numbers than the Democrats."

But Trump said that he thought that "last time," Americans were given "disincentive to work," and so going forward, "we want to create a very great incentive to work."

His comments, Reuters notes, seemed to suggest Trump will oppose renewing the additional $600 a week in unemployment benefits as supported by Democrats but that Republicans have argued disincentivizes work. But The Washington Post noted his phrasing left some amount of uncertainty, including as to whether he was indeed talking about more, larger stimulus payments, "or some other form of federal help." After all, when directly asked whether he wants direct payments or unemployment benefits to be larger, Trump just said, "I want the money getting to people to be larger."

When also asked in the interview if he supports the $600 figure for supplemental unemployment benefits, Trump said this was still being determined. "It's going to be a good number, a substantial number," he said. Trump "previously told congressional lawmakers he opposes extending the $600-per-week increase to unemployment benefits," the Post reports.

Trump also said he's "all for masks" after recently facing growing criticism over declining to wear one in public, adding he would wear one in a "tight situation." Still, he said "I don't know if you need" a national mandate to wear a mask in public.