Mar 14, 2017

Breitbart leaks tape to divide Trump from Ryan

Breitbart News has published a leaked tape of Paul Ryan telling Republican House members he wouldn't defend Donald Trump over the "Access Hollywood" tape.

I am not going to defend Donald Trump—not now, not in the future.

Ryan continues in the tape: "As you probably heard, I disinvited him from my first congressional district GOP event this weekend—a thing I do every year. And I'm not going to be campaigning with him over the next 30 days."

Why this matters: The timing of the leak. Breitbart is echoing a strategy that we foreshadowed over the weekend: conservatives who want to kill the House Obamacare replacement plan are trying to sow divisions between Ryan and Trump. This tape dredges up painful old memories from the campaign trail of when Ryan abandoned Trump.

These conservatives know the President prizes personal loyalty over all else. Trump often talks about who was with him and who wasn't. In that frame — it's one thing for Trump to read about Ryan's words in the papers. It's quite another for him to hear the audio.

Go deeper

Scoop: Census Bureau is paying Chinese state media to reach Americans

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The 2020 Census Paid Media Campaign, which sends U.S. taxpayer dollars to community media outlets to run ads about the upcoming census, is including a Chinese state-run broadcaster as one of its media vendors.

Why it matters: After China's yearslong campaign to co-opt independent Chinese-language media in the U.S., Washington is now paying Beijing-linked media outlets in order to reach Chinese Americans.

Go deeperArrow48 mins ago - World

Live updates: Coronavirus spreads to Latin America

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

Brazil confirmed the first novel coronavirus case in Latin America Wednesday — a 61-year-old that tested positive after returning from a visit to northern Italy, the epicenter of Europe's outbreak.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,700 people and infected over 81,000 others. By Wednesday morning, South Korea had the most cases outside China, with 1,261 infections. Europe's biggest outbreak is in Italy, where 374 cases have been confirmed.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health

GOP congressman accuses California pension official of working for China

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

The latest season of Red Scare has come to Sacramento.

Driving the news: Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) has repeatedly accused Ben Meng, chief investment officer of the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS), of tacitly working on behalf of the Chinese government. Banks also says that, were it up to him, Meng would be fired — and has questioned the patriotism of California Gov. Gavin Newsom for not at least investigating Meng.

Go deeperArrow2 hours ago - World