President sends well wishes to Ghislaine Maxwell after saying coronavirus will get worse in US

At a White House meeting on Monday, the president said he wanted a full payroll tax repeal, according to a Republican who was present.

Trump pushes back on funding for tests

Donald Trump is pushing back on Mitch McConnell’s plan to provide $25bn (£20bn) for coronavirus testing in his new trillion-dollar stimulus package, because he wants the Senate leader to include a large payroll tax cut.

GOP leaders indicated only a partial repeal would be included in the coming bill.

Easing the payroll tax is dividing Mr Trump’s party because it is used to finance social security and Medicare, and is already being deferred for employers under the previous virus relief package.

Supporters say cutting it now for employees would put money in people’s pockets and stimulate the economy, but detractors warn it would do little for out-of-work Americans and add to the nation’s rising debt.

Mr McConnell is trying to keep the bill’s total price tag at $1 trillion.

Steven Mnuchin, the treasury secretary, has said he expects the bill to pass by the end of the month.

Trump advisers are set to meet with Democrats today to discuss the new stimulus plan.

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