Searching for smart, safe news you can TRUST?

Support safe, smart, REAL journalism. Sign up for our Axios AM & PM newsletters and get smarter, faster.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Searching for smart, safe news you can TRUST?

Support safe, smart, REAL journalism. Sign up for our Axios AM & PM newsletters and get smarter, faster.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Minneapolis-St. Paul

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa-St. Petersburg news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa-St. Petersburg

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

For a handful of hours next week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will be the top-ranked government official on U.S. soil.

Driving the news: In a rare event on Monday, both President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence will be overseas at the same time — Pence in Colombia, and Trump en route to his summit in Vietnam with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, according to three administration sources.

Why it matters: Two of these sources told Axios that there is internal concern that sloppy scheduling would allow this rare event to happen, though it's not unprecedented.

  • "It's rare and unusual, and usually they [the White House] try to avoid it," presidential historian Michael Beschloss told Axios.
  • According to an administration official, Pence and Trump were both out of the country for a short period of time on Dec. 1, 2018, when Trump was in Argentina for the G20 summit and Pence was in Mexico for the inauguration of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
  • They also were both overseas on Nov. 11, 2018, when Trump was returning from France and Pence was headed to Asia for meetings and regional summits.
  • And in March 2013, former President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden were both out of the country for roughly a 20-minute window while Obama was traveling to Israel and Biden was returning from Italy.

Worth noting: While it's bad practice for both the president and VP to be overseas at the same time, it's also true that Colombia is roughly a five-hour flight back to the U.S., so if needed for a domestic crisis, Pence could be back on U.S. soil quite quickly. 

  • And Trump remains president wherever he goes; the only reason line succession of government would be invoked is if he or the VP were incapacitated — for example in the event of medical surgery. Both leaders travel with secure communications and nuclear codes. 
  • Pelosi will be in New York Monday morning and D.C. in the afternoon, according to a spokesperson. And while it's a rare quirk that she'll be the top-ranked official on U.S. soil, in no way will her normal duties change.

The White House did not respond to Axios' request for comment.

Go deeper

Dave Lawler, author of World
1 hour ago - World

How Biden might tackle the Iran deal

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Four more years of President Trump would almost certainly kill the Iran nuclear deal — but the election of Joe Biden wouldn’t necessarily save it.

The big picture: Rescuing the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is near the top of Biden's foreign policy priority list. He says he'd re-enter the deal once Iran returns to compliance, and use it as the basis on which to negotiate a broader and longer-lasting deal with Iran.

Kamala Harris, the new left's insider

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Joe Buglewicz/Getty Images     

Progressive leaders see Sen. Kamala Harris, if she's elected vice president, as their conduit to a post-Biden Democratic Party where the power will be in younger, more diverse and more liberal hands.

  • Why it matters: The party's rising left sees Harris as the best hope for penetrating Joe Biden's older, largely white inner circle.

If Biden wins, Harris will become the first woman, first Black American and first Indian American to serve as a U.S. vice president — and would instantly be seen as the first in line for the presidency should Biden decide against seeking a second term.

Updated 9 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Large coronavirus outbreaks leading to high death rates — Coronavirus cases are at an all-time high ahead of Election Day — U.S. tops 88,000 COVID-19 cases, setting new single-day record.
  2. Politics: States beg for Warp Speed billions.
  3. World: Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases.
  4. 🎧Podcast: The vaccine race turns toward nationalism.

Get Axios AM in your inbox

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!