Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham introduced a resolution yesterday condemning the Trump impeachment inquiry. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Top Trump officials have quietly created a de facto impeachment war room, with a chief goal of policing and solidifying Republican Senate support for acquittal.

What's happening: Most senior officials in the White House recognized quickly that the G7 and Syria decisions harmed the president's standing with Senate Republicans, and realized that could bleed over and cause problems for their impeachment firewall.

For the past several weeks, senior Trump White House officials have held a near-daily meeting focused on messaging — not the legal side of the impeachment fight, per three sources familiar with the situation.

  • Almost every morning around 10 a.m., there's an impeachment "messaging coordination" meeting in either the Situation Room or the Roosevelt Room.
  • Staff from these offices typically attend: chief of staff's office, Legislative Affairs, vice president's office, Political Affairs, Cabinet Affairs, Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, Office of Public Liaison, press and comms, and digital.
  • The White House counsel's office is not involved in these meetings.
  • It's been widely reported that the White House counsel Pat Cipollone has frustrated some senior officials, including acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, for what some have described as his "hoarding" of information.

Why it matters: The group's most crucial metric is support for the president among Republicans in the Senate.

  • So the planning focuses on anything that could affect that: what's breaking through on TV and social media, and who is scheduled to testify on the Hill.
  • It's not being called a "war room" internally, and is nothing like the formal response structure President Clinton had during his impeachment fight.

The backstory: These meetings were born out of frustration — widely shared among people inside and out of the administration — about a lack of communication and information coming out of the White House counsel's office.

  • Republicans on the Hill still complain they're getting very little guidance out of the White House. 

Another reality: This group does not and could never control what President Trump says.

  • He is his own strategist, keeps his own counsel, and considers himself his own best messenger.
  • That means that communications and messaging on impeachment from this White House will never be coordinated in a traditional way.

The White House press shop didn't respond to a request for comment.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4:30 p.m. ET: 21,020,216 — Total deaths: 761,393— Total recoveries: 13,048,303Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4:30 p.m. ET: 5,289,323 — Total deaths: 167,948 — Total recoveries: 1,774,648 — Total tests: 64,831,306Map.
  3. Health: CDC: Survivors of COVID-19 have up to three months of immunity Fauci believes normalcy will return by "the end of 2021" with vaccine — The pandemic's toll on mental health.
  4. Business: How small businesses got stiffed — Unemployment starts moving in the right direction.
  5. Cities: Coronavirus pandemic dims NYC's annual 9/11 Tribute in Light.
  6. Politics: Biden signals fall strategy with new ads.

Harris: "Women are going to be a priority" in Biden administration

Sen. Kamala Harris at an event in Wilmington, Del. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

In her first sit-down interview since being named Joe Biden's running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris talked about what she'll do to fight for women if elected VP, and how the Democrats are thinking about voter turnout strategies ahead of November.

What they're saying: "In a Biden-Harris administration women are going to be a priority, understanding that women have many priorities and all of them must be acknowledged," Harris told The 19th*'s Errin Haines-Whack.

Facebook goes after Apple

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Facebook is seeking to force a face-off with Apple over its 30% in-app purchase commission fee, which Facebook suggests hurts small businesses struggling to get by during the pandemic.

The big picture: Facebook has never publicly gone after Apple, a key strategic partner, this aggressively. Both companies face antitrust scrutiny, which in Apple's case has centered on the very fee structure Facebook is now attacking.