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Photo: Tom Brenner/Getty Images

President Trump's political allies are trying to raise at least $2 million to investigate reporters and editors of the New York Times, Washington Post and other outlets, according to a 3-page fundraising pitch reviewed by Axios. 

Why it matters: Trump’s war on the media is expanding. This group will target reporters and editors, while other GOP 2020 entities go after the social media platforms, alleging bias, officials tell us.

  • The group claims it will slip damaging information about reporters and editors to "friendly media outlets," such as Breitbart, and traditional media, if possible.
  • People involved in raising the funds include GOP consultant Arthur Schwartz and the "loose network" that the NY Times reported last week is targeting journalists. The operations are to be run by undisclosed others.
  • The prospectus for the new project says it's "targeting the people producing the news."

The irony: The New York Times exposed an extremely improvisational effort that had outed a Times editor for past anti-Semitic tweets. This new group is now using the exposure to try to formalize and fund the operation.

  • Organizers joke that their slogan should be: "Brought to you by the New York Times."

Under "Primary Targets," the pitch lists:

  • "CNN, MSNBC, all broadcast networks, NY Times, Washington Post, BuzzFeed, Huffington Post, and all others that routinely incorporate bias and misinformation in to their coverage. We will also track the reporters and editors of these organizations."

This isn't an entirely new concept. The liberal group Media Matters monitors journalists and publications and goes public with complaints of bias. But being this blatant and specific about trying to discredit individual reporters is new. 

Go deeper: Trump allies plot new war on social media

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Go deeper

Texas abortion law remains in effect after appeals court ruling

Pro- and anti-abortion protesters outside the Supreme Court as arguments begin about the Texas abortion law on Capitol Hill in November. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

A U.S. appeals court transferred a challenge to Texas' law banning most abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy to the state supreme court in a 2-1 vote on Monday evening.

Why it matters: The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' decision means the country's most restrictive abortion law can remain in place for the time being.

2 hours ago - World

At least 2 dead after Tonga volcano eruption and tsunami

A satellite image of the explosive eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcano on Saturday. Photo: UNICEF/NOAA

At least two people are confirmed to have died in Tonga following the undersea volcanic eruption that sent tsunami waves toward the island nation and across the Pacific over the weekend, officials said Monday.

The big picture: Officials reported major damage along the western coast of the main island of Tongatapu, where the capital, Nuku'alofa, was covered in ash and dust, including on the runway of the airport. A New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson told Axios over the phone that two people had been confirmed to have died in the disaster.

Airlines call for Biden admin's "immediate intervention" in 5G deployment

Photo: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The CEOs of leading U.S. air cargo and passenger carriers on Monday warned the Biden administration there could be "catastrophic disruption" after AT&T and Verizon deploy a new 5G service this week.

Driving the news: They said in a letter to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and other top federal officials ahead of the C-Band 5G service's deployment Wednesday that "the nation's commerce will grind to a halt" and "could potentially strand tens of thousands of Americans overseas."