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Photo: Diego Donamaria/Getty Images for SXSW

One of President Trump's most reliable applause lines at his rallies is his plan to establish a Space Force as the sixth branch of the armed forces.

He now has a big new backer. Elon Musk, co-founder and CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, endorsed the idea during a "Recode Decode" podcast with Kara Swisher. When Swisher asked about the Trump Space Force, Musk said: "Well, this may be a little controversial, but I actually like the idea. I think it’s cool. You know, like, when the Air Force was formed, there was a lot of like pooh-poohing."

"[I]t’s basically defense in space," Musk continued. "And then I think also it could be pretty helpful for maybe expanding our civilization ... expanding things beyond Earth."

  • "I think we could just have a base on the moon, for example. A base on Mars. Be great to expand on the idea of a Space Force."
  • "[F]or explorers ... anyone who has an exploratory spirit — and I think that especially applies to a country like the United States, where ... it’s kind of the distillation of the spirit of human exploration — I think the idea of being out there among the stars and among the planets is very exciting."
  • "I do think it will become obvious over time that a Space Force is a sensible thing to do."

P.S. When Swisher asked about the power that’s held by Facebook and Google and others, Musk said tech could use more regulation:

  • "It probably makes sense — if something is responsible for a public good, and could potentially negatively affect elections or something like that — that there probably should be some regulatory oversight to ensure that we’re not negatively affecting the democratic process. That the quality of news is good and not unduly influenced. These seem like sensible things."

Go deeper

A tale of two jobs reports

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals

Whatever you think about the economy, you’ll find something in this morning’s conflicting jobs report to reinforce your views: America's job market is white-hot and the labor market is anemic.

Between the lines: The conflict comes from the two separate surveys the government uses to compile the report.

Elon Musk's mega-billion bounty

Photo: Patrick Pleul/picture alliance via Getty Images

Here's how insanely rich Elon Musk is: He has unloaded $10 billion of his stock in the past month — and could do that 15+ more times given his silos of shares.

Ina Fried, author of Login
5 hours ago - Technology
Column / Signal Boost

Huawei sanctions snarled chip supply chains

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The largely successful U.S. effort to hobble China's Huawei has benefitted a host of other tech companies — from smartphone makers such as Apple and Xiaomi to chipmakers like Qualcomm to network vendors including Nokia and Ericsson.

Yes, but: The massive disruption to the industry furthered an industry wide mismatch between supply and demand, exacerbating the global chip shortage.

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