Mary Altaffer / AP

Tony James, president of The Blackstone Group, said in a media call this morning that his firm's new infrastructure investment effort will not be impacted by whether or not President Trump's promised $2 trillion infrastructure plan comes to fruition:

"We think that based on today's market conditions, today's regulations and today's market that there's a huge opportunity for the fund we're raising. There has been around $9 billion of opportunity we've been unable to action in just the past year, that would have gone into this fund."

Background: Blackstone announced in May that it is raising up to $40 billion for its debut infrastructure fund, including up to a $20 billion commitment from Saudi Arabia and up to $500 million from Blackstone itself. At the time, the White House was still talking about infrastructure as a viable 2017 priority — something that is longer operative. Blackstone CEO Steve Schwarzman also was chair of a CEO advisory council that has since disbanded, in the wake of Trump's comments about Charlottesville.

Timing: James says to expect a first close on the fund by the end of Q1 2018.

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Fund managers start to board the stock bandwagon

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Asset managers at major U.S. investment firms are starting to get bullish with their clients, encouraging stock buying and trying not to get left behind right as the metrics on tech stocks rise back to highs not seen since the dot-com crash of 2000.

What's happening: Appetite for stocks is starting to return, but slowly as institutional money managers were overwhelmingly sitting on the sidelines in cash during April and May.

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China bans Cruz and Rubio over Xinjiang criticism

Photos: Graeme Jennings/Pool/Getty Images; Al Drago/Pool/Getty Images

China said Monday that it will ban entry to Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) over their criticisms of human rights abuses in Xinjiang, the AP reports.

The big picture: The move seems to be retaliatory after the U.S. announced sanctions on four Chinese officials for human rights abuses against Uighur Muslims and other ethnic minorities in the region last week.

Roger Stone says he plans to campaign for Trump

Roger Stone appears yesterday outside his home in Fort Lauderdale. Photo: Johnny Louis/Getty Images

Roger Stone told Axios in a phone interview that he plans to write and speak for President Trump's re-election now that Stone "won't die in a squalid hellhole of corona-19 virus."

"I'm asthmatic," said Stone, 67. "Sending me to a prison where I could not be socially distanced ... would, I think, be a death sentence."