Sep 30, 2019

Trump goes to war without a war room

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Jay Sekulow, a private lawyer for President Trump, tells me that the White House doesn't plan a "war room"-like structure of legal and communications rapid response like President Bill Clinton deployed during the last impeachment fight.

Invoking the Mueller investigation, Sekulow said: "We have just handled a major investigation that was multifaceted and multi-jurisdictional. There was no war room. We responded as appropriate. We won that battle."

Sekulow said the impeachment inquiry "will be handled the same way."

  • "Solid teams are in place both inside the White House and outside," the lawyer said. "I am confident that we will meet any issues with Congress."
  • Trump, like during the Russia probe, will often serve as the commander, the spokesman, and the combatant.
  • You saw this last night when he decided to quote a pastor claiming America could fall into a civil war if he is ousted. 

Lanny Davis, the face of Clinton's war room during the impeachment battle of 1998-99, said Trump's team is making a mistake by not distinguishing between the Mueller investigation and impeachment.

  • Davis said the Clinton war room included about a dozen people, half of them lawyers.
  • "Without facts, good or bad," Davis told me, "you can't effectively defend against impeachment."

Go deeper: Pelosi's point of no return

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 1:30 a.m. ET: 5,695,155 — Total deaths: 355,688 — Total recoveries — 2,351,177Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 1:30 a.m. ET: 1,699,933 — Total deaths: 100,442 — Total recoveries: 391,508 — Total tested: 15,192,481Map.
  3. Public health: CDC issues guidelines for reopening officesFauci says data is "really quite evident" against hydroxychloroquine.
  4. States: California hospitals strained by patients in MexicoTexas Supreme Court blocks mail-in expansion to state voters.
  5. Business: MGM plans to reopen major Las Vegas resorts in June — African American business owners have seen less relief from PPP, Goldman Sachs says.
  6. Tech: AI will help in the pandemic — but it might not be in time for this one.
  7. World: EU proposes a massive pandemic rescue package.
  8. 1 🎶 thing: Local music venues get rocked by coronavirus.
  9. 🎧 Podcast: Trump vs. Twitter ... vs. Trump.
  10. What should I do? When you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus — Traveling, 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.
  11. 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 20 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Minneapolis unrest as hundreds protest death of George Floyd

Protesters and police clash during demonstration on Wednesday over the death of George Floyd in custody outside the Third Police Precinct. Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images

Minneapolis police clashed for a second night with protesters demonstrating the death of George Floyd, an African American man who died in police custody.

The latest: Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz tweeted late Wednesday that the situation where the clashes were taking place was "extremely dangerous" as he urged people to leave the area. There were multiple news reports of police firing tear gas at protesters and of some people looting a Target store.

Blue Cross Blue Shield insurers sue CVS, alleging drug pricing fraud

Photo: John Lamparski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Six Blue Cross Blue Shield insurers have sued CVS Health, alleging the pharmacy chain overcharged them based on "artificially inflated prices" for generic drugs and concealed the true cash prices of those drugs.

The big picture: CVS has faced legal scrutiny over its cash discount programs since 2015, and this lawsuit adds big names to a mounting problem.