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White House aides downplay coronavirus aid chances; Pelosi blasts Trump, but discusses airline help

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Top White House officials on Wednesday downplayed the possibility of more coronavirus relief, while House Speaker Nancy Pelosi disparaged President Donald Trump for backing away from talks on a comprehensive deal.

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told reporters that “the stimulus negotiations are off,” echoing Trump’s announcement on Tuesday, and said in an interview on Fox News the administration backed a more piecemeal approach to help some sectors of the economy.

But in a separate interview with CNBC, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said that approach would likely not work either.

“Right now in terms of the probability curve, this would probably be low low-probability stuff.”

On Tuesday evening, after having shut down the negotiations on a comprehensive coronavirus package during the day, Trump wrote on Twitter that Congress should pass money for airlines, small businesses, and stimulus checks

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White House lurches in new direction on stimulus talks, pushing for airline aid

The newest twist in the talks appears to be fast-tracking negotiations to aid the airline industry while shelving prospects for broader unemployment aid and other programs. But the situation seemed somewhat fluid in the wake of a late-night change of heart from Trump, where he demanded piecemeal legislation on $1,200 stimulus checks and small-business assistance, in addition to airline aid.

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said the administration still held out hope for such one-off measures — even though Democrats have consistently rejected that approach — and Trump broke his coronavirus isolation Wednesday afternoon to go into the Oval Office, where a spokesman said he was being briefed on stimulus talks.

After sinking on Tuesday, the stock market rallied sharply Wednesday on the prospect of a partial deal. The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 531 points, or nearly 2 percent. Airline stocks fared even better, with American

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