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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

Rep. Dan Crenshaw says he'll be blind for a month after eye surgery

Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) in Washington, D.C., in December 2020. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) said in a statement Saturday he will be blind for roughly a month after having surgery to reattach the retina in left eye after a doctor discovered Thursday it was detaching.

Why it matters: Crenshaw, who lost his right eye and sustained severe damage to his left eye during his third deployment to Afghanistan in 2012, said he will be "pretty much off the grid for the next few weeks."

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NASA is set to fly the first test flight of its tiny Ingenuity helicopter on Mars Sunday, marking the advent of drones for space exploration.

Why it matters: If successful, this flight will be the first time a human-built aircraft has flown on a world other than Earth, opening the door to new means of exploring planets far from our own.

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The global future is looking dark and stormy

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

A new 20-year-forecast for the world: increasingly fragmented and turbulent.

The big picture: A major report put out this week by the National Intelligence Council reflects a present rocked by the COVID-19 pandemic. How the next two decades will unfold depends largely on whether new technologies will ultimately unite us — or continue to divide us.