Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Bloomberg stands by his campaign bus after speaking at an event in Compton Monday. Photo: Scott Varley/MediaNews Group/Torrance Daily Breeze via Getty Images

Mike Bloomberg tells me he'd support Bernie Sanders over Donald Trump if those were his two options, but that people should understand Sanders at this moment is "so far to the left it's not practical" and that "what he wants to do would never get through Congress."

Why this matters: While Bloomberg's also seeking the Democratic nomination, he's committed to supporting whoever wins it.

  • "I don't agree with him on virtually anything," Bloomberg said of Sanders in an interview Monday at a campaign stop in Compton, Calif. "But I have committed to support the Democratic candidate because I find Trump so unsuited for the job."
  • "I would hope that if Bernie did win he would change some of his policies, or Congress would make him change some of his policies," Bloomberg said.
  • A billionaire who's self-funding his own run, Bloomberg skipped Iowa to campaign in California, the most populous state in the nation and in the March 3 Super Tuesday contests.

Driving the news: Public polling suggests Sanders could harness momentum through the first three nominating states, testing assumptions about his limits in states beyond.

  • This scenario terrifies the party establishment and corporate America — as Sanders gleefully highlighted in a recent commercial.

While Bloomberg made his fortune by understanding financial data, he said "I have no idea" whether Sanders or Trump would be better for the U.S. economy.

  • "Listen to me. Nobody, nobody, ever thought that Donald Trump would preside over the country and the stock market would go up 40 or 50 percent and unemployment would go down to essentially zero," he said.
  • I put it to Bloomberg that Trump has put in place some traditional Republican policies like aggressive deregulation and tax cuts. "He has," Bloomberg allowed. "There are people that like what he did but that hate the way he's done it.”
  • In his speeches, Bloomberg pitches himself as the "un-Trump." He describes Trump as dishonest, a poor manager, erratic, and a bully. He tells the crowd he's an engineer who knows how to build teams, nurture relationships, and "get it done" on climate change, gun safety and health insurance for everyone.

Bloomberg's states director, Dan Kanninen, said by skipping the first four states, Bloomberg has the Super Tuesday and later states effectively to himself for the next month.

  • The campaign says it will have 800 full and part-time staff and 20 field offices in California by March 3.
  • No other campaign will have the money to match that.
  • California has 415 delegates to Iowa's 41.
  • "We have staff in 35 states," said Kanninen, who worked for Barack Obama's 2008 and 2012 campaigns and Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign. "There probably isn't a state in the country that's not getting some of our advertising, besides the first four."

Go deeper

Scoop: Gina Haspel threatened to resign over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy

CIA Director Gina Haspel. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

CIA Director Gina Haspel threatened to resign in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelation stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency. Only a series of coincidences — and last minute interventions from Vice President Mike Pence and White House counsel Pat Cipollone — stopped it.

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution — Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan — Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.

John Weaver, Lincoln Project co-founder, acknowledges “inappropriate” messages

John Weaver aboard John McCain's campaign plane in February 2000. Photo: Robert Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images)

John Weaver, a veteran Republican operative who co-founded the Lincoln Project, declared in a statement to Axios on Friday that he sent “inappropriate,” sexually charged messages to multiple men.

  • “To the men I made uncomfortable through my messages that I viewed as consensual mutual conversations at the time: I am truly sorry. They were inappropriate and it was because of my failings that this discomfort was brought on you,” Weaver said.
  • “The truth is that I'm gay,” he added. “And that I have a wife and two kids who I love. My inability to reconcile those two truths has led to this agonizing place.”

You’ve caught up. Now what?

Sign up for Mike Allen’s daily Axios AM and PM newsletters to get smarter, faster on the news that matters.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!