Sep 12, 2018

Trump eyes life under subpoena

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Trump, who rarely focuses beyond the moment before him, is starting to acknowledge the growing chance Democrats could very well win in November — and very well try to impeach him.

The big picture: A few months ago, he was scoffing at midterm consequences for him. But now Trump has heard the dire warnings from enough advisers that he’s shifting into salvation mode, sharpening his campaign rhetoric and privately contemplating life under subpoena — and the threat and reality of impeachment.

  • He has already told confidants how he would run for reelection in 2020 if impeached (but not removed) by playing the victim card. 

A source who’s discussed the midterms with Trump said: "He has repeated to folks that, if the Democrats impeach him, it would be a victory, politically, because it would be a complete overreach and he could exploit it and run against it in 2020."

  • "But this president is not interested in being an impeached president. His ego would not tolerate such a thing."
  • "What he's figured out is that his name is on the ballot in 2018. His name is on the ballot as it relates to 2020, but more important he realizes his name is on the ballot as it relates to what life is going to be like for the next two years."
  • "There were some people around him trying to make the case that control of the House didn't matter. But over time he's realized it can make all the difference in the world, both for investigations and impeachment."

In May, Trump even questioned the importance of the 2018 election:

  • “So, your vote in 2018 is every bit as important as your vote in 2016,” he read from a teleprompter.
  • “Although I’m not sure I really believe that ... I don’t know who the hell wrote that line."

Welcome to September. The president, seeing warning signs everywhere, raises the stakes to impeachment:

  • "We'll worry about that [impeachment] if it ever happens," Trump said in Montana. "But if it happens it's your fault because you didn't go out to vote."

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 665,164 — Total deaths: 30,852 — Total recoveries: 140,225.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 124,665 — Total deaths: 2,191 — Total recoveries: 1,095.
  3. Federal government latest: President Trump announces new travel advisories for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, but rules out quarantine enforcement. Per the CDC, residents of those states must now "refrain from non-essential domestic travel for 14 days," with the exception of critical infrastructure industry workers.
  4. State updates: Alaska is latest state to issue a stay-at-home order — New York is trying to nearly triple its hospital capacity in less than a month and has moved its presidential primary to June 23. Some Midwestern swing voters who backed Trump's handling of the virus less than two weeks ago are balking at his call for the U.S. to be "opened up" by Easter.
  5. World updates: In Spain, over 1,400 people were confirmed dead between Thursday to Saturday.
  6. 🚀 Space updates: OneWeb filed for bankruptcy amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
  7. Hollywood: Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have returned to U.S. after being treated for coronavirus.
  8. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Coronavirus updates: Global death toll tops 30,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

The novel coronavirus has now killed more than 30,000 people around the world — with Italy reporting over 10,000 deaths, per Johns Hopkins data.

The big picture: The number of deaths from COVID-19 in the U.S. surpassed 2,000 on Saturday. The United States leads the world in confirmed coronavirus infections — more than 124,000 by early Sunday. The number of those recovered from the virus in the U.S. passed the 1,000-mark on Saturday evening.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 hours ago - Health

Gilead expands access to experimental coronavirus drug in emergency cases

Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Gilead Sciences CEO Daniel O’Day said in an open letter Saturday the company is expanding access to its experimental anti-coronavirus drug remdesivir to include severely ill COVID-19 patients.

The big pig picture: President Trump has called the antiviral drug "promising," but the results of six clinical trials on this investigational medicine are still being conducted, so its effectiveness the treatment of the novel coronavirus has yet to be proved. The World Health Organization is involved in the tests.

Go deeperArrow3 hours ago - Health