Mike Allen Feb 24
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Scoop: Bank of America to review relationships with gunmakers

AR-15 semi-automatic guns on display at a gun store in Utah. Photo: George Frey/Getty Images

Beginning what could become a widespread financial squeeze on gun manufacturers, Bank of America says in a statement to Axios that it is reexamining its relationship with banking clients who make AR-15s.

"We are joining other companies in our industry to examine what we can do to help end the tragedy of mass shootings, and an immediate step we’re taking is to engage the limited number of clients we have that manufacture assault weapons for non-military use to understand what they can contribute to this shared responsibility."
— Statement from Bank of America

Reading between the lines: This sounds like Bank of America thinks that servicing these manufacturers may not be consistent with its Responsible Growth strategy, which calls for "addressing the challenges of our time."

  • The context: In 2015, Bank of America and other banks backed away from funding coal mining.

Delta tweet this morning: "Delta is reaching out to the NRA to let them know we will be ending their contract for discounted rates through our group travel program. We will be requesting that the NRA remove our information from their website."

  • The big picture: "A call to boycott the National Rifle Association became the top trend on Twitter as users of the global social media platform demanded that a variety of companies sever ties with the lobbying group."
  • "The online furor [came] a day after the NRA’s leaders attacked the media and Democrats, claiming the fallout from last week’s Florida high school massacre was being politicized." (Bloomberg)

United Airlines also tweeted: "United is notifying the NRA that we will no longer offer a discounted rate to their annual meeting and we are asking that the NRA remove our information from their website."

  • Go deeper ... Axios list of companies dropping NRA partnerships amid social media uproar.
Jonathan Swan 5 hours ago
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Bolton bombshell: the clashes to come

John Bolton
John Bolton speaks at CPAC in 2016. Photo: Andrew Harrer / Bloomberg via Getty Images

Sources close to President Trump say he feels John Bolton, hurriedly named last night to replace H.R. McMaster as national security adviser, will finally deliver the foreign policy the president wants — particularly on Iran and North Korea.

Why it matters: We can’t overstate how dramatic a change it is for Trump to replace H.R. McMaster with Bolton, who was U.S. ambassador to the U.N. under President George W. Bush.

Erica Pandey 6 hours ago
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How China became a global power of espionage

Illustration: Sarah Grillo / Axios

As China’s influence spreads to every corner of the globe under President Xi Jinping, so do its spies.

Why it matters: China has the money and the ambition to build a vast foreign intelligence network, including inside the United States. Meanwhile, American intelligence-gathering on China is falling short, Chris Johnson, a former senior China analyst for the CIA who's now at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, tells Axios: "We have to at least live up to [China's] expectations. And we aren't doing that."