Photo: Chuck Kennedy / Axios

"The president is the president. And I accept that... He was not my choice for the Republican candidate, but I respect the fact that he is the president and I work with him."
— Sen. Susan Collins to Axios' Mike Allen Wednesday

Why it matters:  Collins has had a rough relationship with President Trump, despite being from the same party and representing a "Trump country" state. She said that Trump has grown in office and has changed his position on a few issues, but added, "I don’t think his personality has changed, I still think he tends to react too rapidly."


  • The talking stick: Collins said that the bipartisan group of around 26 Senators she held meetings with during the shutdown, which originally including Girl Scout cookies, Dunkin' Donuts coffee and the infamous talking stick, continues to meet. She said, "to me it’s very encouraging that there is that large a number of Senators who are willing to make government work again and that’s what we really need."
  • The State of the Union Address: "It was a fascinating evening,  I kept thinking that the President’s speech was so eclectic … He covered a lot of territory. You couldn’t pigeon hole the speech. It was neither liberal nor a conservative speech."  
  • Her interactions with Trump: "He tends to be very gracious and tends to listen and will say 'now that sounds reasonable.' Now sometimes, when he talks to his staff he changes his mind over what is reasonable ... I found that he has listened to me on some issues."
  • On #MeToo: Collins praised legislation that she said is on its way to President Trump's desk. She said it sets new requirements for reporting sexual harassment and abuse in amateur sports — inspired by the revelations of U.S. Olympic gymnasts.

Go deeper

Axios-SurveyMonkey poll: Harris boosting Biden ticket with key voters

Data: SurveyMonkey poll of 2,847 U.S. adults conducted Aug. 11–12, 2020 with ±3% margin of error; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

Kamala Harris is accomplishing what Joe Biden's campaign hoped she would in her first two days as his running mate — doing no harm, while exciting parts of the base with whom Biden needs the most help.

The big picture: Black women especially, but also Black men, Hispanics and Democrats and independents across the board say they are more likely to vote for Biden with Harris on the ticket, according to a new Axios-SurveyMonkey poll.

34 mins ago - Technology

Epic sues Apple over developer tax as Fortnite is pulled from App Store

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Fortnite maker Epic Games on Thursday escalated its battle over Apple's App Store tactics, suing the tech giant over antitrust claims while also baiting Apple into dropping Fortnite from the App Store.

The big picture: Epic is just one of several developers clashing with Apple. They argue the company harms competition by taking a cut of up to 30% on in-app purchases and subscriptions and blocking most developers from getting around the tax by charging their users directly.

Biden calls for 3-month national mask mandate: "Be a patriot"

Joe Biden called on governors to issue a three-month mandatory outdoor mask mandate on Thursday, telling reporters after receiving a coronavirus briefing that experts say it could save over 40,000 lives.

Why it matters: Biden was more aggressive and specific than he has been in previous calls to wear a mask, arguing that it will allow children to return to school sooner, businesses to reopen and help "get our country back on track."