Andrew Theodorakis / AP (file)

Some in the White House are uncomfortable with the hiring of Marc Kasowitz — Trump's longtime lawyer, who was recently brought on as outside counsel to lead the defense against the Russia probe.

A frequent informal adviser to the White House said:

"There are some people who believe he's the right choice, because he knows the President. And in something like this, it's good to have somebody you know and trust and can tell you: 'I've got your back.' On the other hand, there are people in the building who say that Kasowitz brings out the worst in the President. Kasowitz is a bit of an enabler and spins him up."

Concerns we're hearing about Kasowitz, (who did not respond to requests for comment):

  • Wrong experience: Kasowitz, known as a New York "street brawler," has represented Trump on everything from a fraud claim to defamation suits and against newspaper accusations of sexual misconduct. A number of advisers inside and close to the White House worry his talents won't transfer naturally to dealing with the national security apparatus in Washington.
  • Inadequate supporting cast: Names floated in news reports include legal stars like Theodore Olson. A source close to the White House says there's not much chance of this: "All the names you've seen aren't going to work out."
  • Says it all, from a source: "With lawyers, there's a pride in taking on tough clients. If you are defending the President and came on board now, ... you weren't part of the problem originally. ... I don't think there's any sort of stench that attaches to that ... [T]he larger deterrent is the structure of working for longtime ad hoc confidant Kasowitz ... [T]hat's not a slam on Kasowitz, but an acknowledgement that he's been fighting different battles and played to Trump's instincts, which would not be helpful here."

Go deeper

Jeff Sessions loses Alabama Senate primary runoff

Jeff Sessions. Photo: Michael DeMocker/Getty Images

Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions has lost the Republican nomination for Senate to Tommy Tuberville in Alabama in Tuesday night’s primary runoff, AP reports.

Why it matters: Sessions had been the underdog in the race against former Auburn University head football coach Tommy Tuberville, who had the backing of President Trump. Tuberville will now face off against Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) in November, who is considered to have one of the most vulnerable Democratic Senate seats in the country.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 13,273,537 — Total deaths: 577,006 — Total recoveries — 7,367,106Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 3,424,304 — Total deaths: 136,432 — Total recoveries: 1,049,098 — Total tested: 41,764,557Map.
  3. Politics: Biden welcomes Trump wearing mask in public but warns "it’s not enough"
  4. Public health: Four former CDC heads say Trump's undermining of agency puts lives at risk — CDC director: U.S. could get coronavirus "under control" in 4–8 weeks if all wear masks.

Bank CEOs brace for worsening economic scenario

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon. Photo: J. Lawler Duggan/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

Wells Fargo swung to its first loss since the financial crisis — while JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup reported significantly lower profits from a year earlier — as the banks set aside billions of dollars more in the second quarter for loans that may go bad.

Why it matters: The cumulative $28 billion in loan loss provisions that banks have so far announced they’re reserving serves as a signal they’re preparing for a colossal wave of loan defaults as the economy slogs through a coronavirus-driven downturn.