Mar 7, 2019

Trump takes friendly fire from his favorite media outlets

Screenshot via Fox Business

Two of Trump's most reliable media allies — Fox Business host Lou Dobbs and Matt Drudge — called him out last night over the direction of his administration.

Driving the news: Trump’s favorite TV host, Lou Dobbs, fired a warning shot at the president last evening after Trump hosted CEOs and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce at the White House.

  • Trump can usually expect adoring coverage from Dobbs.
  • Dobbs not only whacked Trump for cozying up to the business establishment, but urged viewers to call the White House to say how far the president has run off track.
  • "I'd like to share a few thoughts," Dobbs said, about "what could very likely be a catastrophe for the working men and women, small business and entrepreneurs, our middle class, the American family."

Between the lines: Some prominent immigration restrictionists who support Trump, including Dobbs, have grown increasingly worried that he might flip from wanting to cut legal immigration to advocating an increase in legal immigration.

  • Business leaders have been cheering Trump on, and Jared and Ivanka support business-friendly immigration reform.
  • A prominent immigration restrictionist who is close to the White House told Axios around the time of Trump’s State of the Union address that he worried that Trump was unreliable when it came to his earlier promises to restrict legal immigration.
  • Trump went off-script during his State of the Union address when he said he wanted legal immigrants to come into America in the largest numbers ever.
Screenshot via Drudge Report

Matt Drudge used this banner over a WashPost story reporting that Trump's administration "has been on a pronounced losing streak over the past week":

  • "Trump is losing ground on top priorities to curb illegal immigration, cut the trade deficit and blunt North Korea’s nuclear threat — setbacks that complicate his planned reelection message as a can-do president who is making historic progress."

Go deeper: Trump's conservative media comfort trap

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The cost of going after Bloomberg

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Here's the growing dilemma for 2020 Democrats vying for a one-on-one showdown with frontrunner Bernie Sanders: Do they have the guts — and the money — to first stop Mike Bloomberg?

Why it matters: Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren all must weigh the costs of punching Bloomberg where he looks most vulnerable: stop-and-frisk, charges of sexism, billionaire entitlement. The more zealous the attacks, the greater the risk he turns his campaign ATM against them.

How Trump’s economy stacks up

Source: "Presidents and US Economy", Trump figures through 2019 courtesy of Alan Blinder; Note: Data shows real GDP and Q1 growth in each term is attributed to the previous president; Chart: Axios Visuals

Average economic growth under President Trump has outpaced the growth under Barack Obama, but not all of his recent predecessors.

Why it matters: GDP is the most comprehensive economic scorecard — and something presidents, especially Trump, use as an example of success. And it's especially relevant since Trump is running for re-election on his economic record.

Coronavirus cases rise as 14 American evacuees infected

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's NHC; Note: China refers to mainland China and the Diamond Princess is the cruise ship offshore Yokohama, Japan. Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

14 Americans evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship tested positive for the novel coronavirus before being flown in a "specialist containment" on a plane repatriating U.S. citizens back home, the U.S. government said early Monday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 1,770 people and infected almost 70,000 others. Most cases and all but five of the deaths have occurred in mainland China. Taiwan confirmed its first death on Sunday, per multiple reports, in a 61-year-old man with underlying health conditions. Health officials were investigating how he became ill.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health