Roger Stone met President Trump in 1979, when they were introduced by Roy Cohn, one-time counsel to Joseph McCarthy. Stone was a top adviser to Trump in the early months of this presidential campaign, then departed amid personality conflicts in August, 2015, with each side claiming to have fired the other.

Stone stayed in touch with Trump, and has kept notes on the advice he quietly gave Trump Tower throughout the campaign (some solicited, some not). His campaign memoir will be out Jan. 31: "The Making of the President 2016: How Donald Trump Orchestrated a Revolution" — the title cheekily echoing the Teddy White classics. A copy of the book was "leaked" to Axios. Among the memorable passages:

  • "He looked me squarely in the eyes and, with a hint of a smile, said: 'Roger, I want to take the next step. I want to see if Donald Trump can win the White House. Is this country ready for President Trump? The one thing I do know is that I'm better than any of those assholes who are running.'"
  • "Drudge led the charge, posting a top center headline and photograph on June 16, 2015, the day Trump declared his candidacy, proclaiming 'Donald Goes for White House.'"
  • "On the Friday before Easter [2016], Trump called me at my south Florida home. 'Can they really steal this thing from me?' ... What should I do?' 'Call my former partner, Paul Manafort.' ... Trump asked for Manafort's cell phone number and I provided it."
  • "[I]n the final phase, Trump found Steve Bannon had genius ability to get his messages packed into the powerful mantras the thousands attending rallies planned on chanting, while Kellyanne Conway displayed equal acumen in keeping Trump's temperament level through the long airplane rides."

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Appeals court allows House Democrats to continue lawsuit for Don McGahn testimony

Don McGahn in an October 2018 Cabinet meeting. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

A D.C. appeals court on Friday allowed House Democrats to continue their case for testimony from former White House counsel Don McGahn before the House Judiciary Committee.

Why it matters: The ruling has broader implications beyond this specific instance, agreeing that Congress has the standing to sue to enforce subpoenas against executive branch officials even if the White House refuses to comply.

There's little consensus on TikTok's specific national security threat

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

TikTok has become a Rorschach test for how U.S. politicians view China, with little consensus on the specifics of its threat to homeland security.

The big picture: Much of what D.C. fears about TikTok is fear itself, and that's reflected in President Trump's executive order to ban the app by Sept. 20 if it's not sold by parent company ByteDance — alongside another focused on Chinese messaging app WeChat and its parent company Tencent.

U.S. sanctions Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam

Photo: Anthony Kwan/Getty Images)

The Treasury Department on Friday placed sanctions on Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam, following months of tension as she has allowed continued overreach by Beijing to subvert Hong Kong's autonomy.

Why it matters: It's the toughest sanction yet imposed on China for its destruction of Hong Kong’s relatively free political system.