Mar 7, 2018

What's next for Trump after Gary Cohn's announcement?

Director of the National Economic Council, Gary Cohn. Photo: Drew Angerer / Getty Images

President Trump has tweeted that there are "many people wanting" to replace Gary Cohn, and a decision will come shortly.

The bottom line: The White House has not done succession planning for Cohn. One problem is Trump likes CEOs and business celebrities and it’s going to be very hard — probably impossible — to get somebody of Cohn’s stature to replace him.

  • It's likely that senior NEC officials follow Cohn out the door. I’m told at least two are expected to leave in the next two weeks.
  • Trump had planned to sign his steel and aluminum tariffs on Thursday but nothing is certain. Half of the Senate is currently trying to get Trump on the phone and every Republican in Washington is trying to talk him out of these tariffs.
  • Trump has no allies in Washington for these tariffs. Democrats who would naturally support them won’t speak up for Trump because they’re afraid of being politically tied to Trump.

Go deeper: The backstory behind Cohn's departure.

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Coronavirus cases rise, as more Americans on cruise confirmed ill

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's NHC; Note: China refers to mainland China and the Diamond Princess is the cruise ship offshore Yokohama, Japan. Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

A U.S. public health official confirms more than 40 Americans on the Diamond Princess cruise ship off Japan have coronavirus, while the remaining U.S. citizens without symptoms are being evacuated.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 1,770 people and infected almost 70,000 others. Most cases and all but five of the deaths have occurred in mainland China. Taiwan confirmed its first death on Sunday, per multiple reports, in a 61-year-old man with underlying health conditions. Health officials were investigating how he became ill.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health

Scoop: Inside the Trump campaign's big hedge on Facebook

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The Trump campaign has invested most of its advertising budget to date on Facebook, testing thousands of versions of ads per day to maximize its spending.

But behind the scenes, a source familiar with the campaign tells Axios, the thinking has shifted: "As everyone can see, we still have strong spending on Facebook, but the percentage of our total media budget [on Facebook] is shrinking."

Trump's revenge tour has the House in its sights

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Saul Loeb/Getty Contributor

In the lead-up to the 2018 midterm elections — buoyed by Republican control of both chambers — President Trump viewed campaigning for the House as a lower-tier priority and instead poured his energy into rallying for the Senate.

But after the GOP reckoning in 2018, and experiencing firsthand how damaging a Democratic-led House has been to him, Trump is now personally invested in helping Republicans regain the majority in November, several people familiar with his thinking tell Axios.