Sep 8, 2019

Inside Democrats' 2020 Trump war room

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The DNC research team has mined thousands of lawsuits from nearly 50 states as part of a massive new trove on President Trump that will be weaponized through pols and reporters in key battlegrounds.

Why it matters: This new plan shows what Democrats think Trump's biggest vulnerabilities will be. And unlike in 2016, Trump now has a policy record.

Details: The research includes roughly 7,000 lawsuits, as well an extensive document detailing every time then-candidate Trump told supporters at his 2016 campaign rallies that Mexico would pay for the wall.

  • A source familiar said this document will likely find its way to local reporters, groups and Democrats in battleground states as Trump diverts funds from the military to pay for his border wall.
  • The DNC has examples of what farmers and truckers say they feel about Trump's tariffs, the way he's "trashed American wheat," and how the GOP tax law hurt truckers.
  • They've combed through local news articles and monitored local cable interviews with residents in states like Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan, Arizona, Colorado, Florida and Texas to find these folks who are being hurt by Trump’s policies.
  • And they've already filed "thousands" of Freedom of Information Act requests to get even more info on the president.

The big picture: Using Trump's specific actions and broken promises is how DNC chairman Tom Perez is advising party officials and surrogates to define him in states he won in 2016 that they think are crucial to their 2020 election efforts.

At a meeting last week with about 20 Democratic operatives and strategists, Perez said the plan is to "make it about [Trump's] performance as president, not his bigotry or awfulness," according to one source in the room. "Prosecute the case that he is bad at his job and it is hurting people in real ways."

  • Democrats can point to "so many ways his actual policies have really hurt people or how he’s been ineffective in fulfilling his promises," said one Democrat familiar with the DNC's plans to define Trump in 2020.
  • "Let’s say he goes to Youngstown, Ohio. We have everything he said, what he promised in 2016 to that community — maybe it’s 'that bridge will be fixed' — then we’ll show what’s actually happened since."

Go deeper: Trump allies raise money to target reporters at top media outlets

Go deeper

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

Countries where novel coronavirus cases are falling may be hit with a "second peak" if they relax restrictions too soon, World Health Organization emergencies chief Mike Ryan warned during a briefing Monday. "We're still very much in a phase where the disease is actually on the way up," he added.

By the numbers: Almost 5.5 million people have tested positive for the virus as of Monday, and more than 2.2 million have recovered. The U.S. has reported the most cases in the world (over 1.6 million from 14.6 million tests). The U.K. is reporting over 36,900 deaths from the coronavirus — the most fatalities outside the U.S.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 5,498,849 — Total deaths: 346,306 — Total recoveries — 2,233,180Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 1,662,768 — Total deaths: 98,223 — Total recoveries: 379,157 — Total tested: 14,604,942Map.
  3. World: Italy reports lowest number of new cases since February — Ireland reports no new coronavirus deaths on Monday for the first time since March 21 — WHO suspends trial of hydroxychloroquine over safety concerns.
  4. 2020: Trump threatens to move Republican convention from North Carolina — Joe Biden makes first public appearance in two months.
  5. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks over Memorial Day.
  6. Economy: New York stock exchange to reopen its floor on Tuesday — White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Charities refocus their efforts to fill gaps left by government.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

LATAM Airlines files for U.S. chapter 11 bankruptcy

A LATAM air attendant aboard one of the company's planes in March. Photo: Kike Calvo/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

LATAM Airlines Group SA said in a statement early Tuesday the firm and its affiliates in in the United States, Chile, Peru, Colombia and Ecuador have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the U.S.

Why it matters: Latam is Latin America's largest airline and its shareholders include Delta Air Lines. CEO Roberto Alvo noted in the statement the coronavirus pandemic has had a huge impact on the airline industry.