Oct 17, 2019

Day 1,000: Trump unbound, unfiltered

Photo via President Trump's Twitter

There have been many holy-crap-that-did-not-just-happen days in the Trump White House, but few top the soap opera of Oct. 16, 2019 — exactly Day 1,000 of the Trump presidency.

What they're saying: A GOP official in California told Axios' Margaret Talev: "The needle on the Batsh*t Crazy Meter may have gone past the red zone today."

Roll the camera:

  • A one-page letter from Trump to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sounded fake when it first surfaced on Twitter, but was real: "Let's work out a good deal! You don't want to be responsible for slaughtering thousands of people, and I don't want to be responsible for destroying the Turkish economy — and I will. ... Don't be a tough guy. Don't be a fool! I will call you later."
  • During a meeting with the congressional leadership in the Cabinet room, according to a senior Democratic aide who provided a readout, Trump said that Jim Mattis, a four-star Marine general and Trump's first defense secretary, was "the world's most overrated general. ... You know why? He wasn't tough enough. I captured ISIS. Mattis said it would take two years. I captured them in one month."
  • Pelosi told reporters in the White House driveway afterward: "What we witnessed on the part of the president was a meltdown — sad to say."
  • Trump tweeted: "Nancy Pelosi needs help fast! There is either something wrong with her 'upstairs,' or she just plain doesn’t like our great Country. She had a total meltdown in the White House today. It was very sad to watch. Pray for her, she is a very sick person!"
  • Trump had said in the Oval Office earlier about the withdrawal from Syria that endangered our longtime allies, the Kurds: "Syria may have some help with Russia, and that’s fine. It’s a lot of sand. They’ve got a lot of sand over there. So there’s a lot of sand that they can play with. But we were supposed to be there for 30 days; we stayed for 10 years. And it’s time for us to come home. ... The Kurds are much safer right now ... They’re not angels, if you take a look."
  • The House voted 354-60 to condemn Trump's decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northern Syria.

At the White House, Trump told Pelosi, according to the Democratic aide: "President Obama drew a red line in the sand. In my opinion, you are a third-grade politician."

  • House Majority Whip Steny Hoyer said: "This is not useful."
  • Pelosi and Hoyer stood and left the meeting.
  • According to the aide, Trump as they left said: "Goodbye, we'll see you at the polls."

What's next: Vice President Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo were wheels-up at 6 p.m. for a 12-hour flight to Turkey.

  • Trump goes to Texas today, for a rally in Dallas tonight.

The bottom line: Day 1,000 is one they'll write books about.

Go deeper: Trump’s playbook for planting suspicion

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 5,410,228 — Total deaths: 345,105 — Total recoveries — 2,169,005Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 1,643,499 — Total deaths: 97,722 — Total recoveries: 366,736 — Total tested: 14,163,915Map.
  3. World: White House announces travel restrictions on Brazil, coronavirus hotspot in Southern Hemisphere Over 100 coronavirus cases in Germany tied to single day of church services — Boris Johnson backs top aide amid reports that he broke U.K. lockdown while exhibiting symptoms.
  4. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks headed into Memorial Day weekend Report finds "little evidence" coronavirus under control in most statesHurricanes, wildfires, the flu could strain COVID-19 response
  5. Economy: White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Public employees brace for layoffs.
  6. Federal government: Trump attacks a Columbia University study that suggests earlier lockdown could have saved 36,000 American lives.
  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.

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Updated 48 mins ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

The CDC is warning of potentially "aggressive rodent behavior" amid a rise in reports of rat activity in several areas, as the animals search further for food while Americans stay home more during the coronavirus pandemic.

By the numbers: More than 97,700 people have died from COVID-19 and over 1.6 million have tested positive in the U.S. Over 366,700 Americans have recovered and more than 14.1 million tests have been conducted.

World coronavirus updates

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

Japan's economy minister outlined plans on Monday to end the nationwide state of emergency as the number of new novel coronavirus cases continues to decline to fewer than 50 a day, per Bloomberg. Japan has reported 16,550 cases and 820 deaths.

By the numbers: Over 5.4 million people have tested positive for the virus as of Monday, and more than 2.1 million have recovered. The U.S. has reported the most cases in the world (over 1.6 million from 13.7 million tests). The U.K. is reporting over 36,800 deaths from the coronavirus — the most fatalities outside the U.S.