Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

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

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!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of 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!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of 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!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

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!

Esper speaks at a White House coronavirus briefing April 1. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

The Pentagon is in talks with the House Armed Services Committee to arrange for Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Gen. Mark Milley to testify next week about President Trump's threats to federalize forces to respond to protests across America, several sources familiar with the committee's plans tell Axios.

Why it matters: Their potential testimony is significant in light of Esper's remarks that he and Milley "were not aware" that federal law enforcement would use physical force and chemicals to disperse peaceful protesters outside the White House on Monday.

  • Esper also said Wednesday that he does not currently support invoking the Insurrection Act of 1807, the law that would be used to federalize forces.
  • Both comments caught the White House off guard and have left Esper in precarious standing with the president, sources close to Trump tell Axios.

"The department has acknowledged the request, but details are still to be determined, including the date," a source familiar with the conversations tells Axios.

Between the lines: It's still unclear whether the Trump administration will allow Esper and Milley to testify. The White House has a history of blocking administration officials from participating in House investigations.

  • As of Wednesday evening, a decision had not yet been made, an administration official told Axios.
  • "Generally, the committee is insulated from some of the more partisan politicking that happens. So I don't think that there would be the same type of complete stonewalling," a source familiar with the talks said.
  • "That said, it would not shock me if the department came back and said they would send other senior ranking officials, but not necessarily the Sec Def and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs."
  • A Pentagon official told Axios that while some members "have expressed keen interest in expanding the politicization of this," Esper and Milley aren't eager to testify about the justification for an action the president hasn't yet taken.

What they're saying: “I have serious concerns about using military forces to respond to protestors," HASC Chair Adam Smith (D-Wash.) said in a statement Tuesday.

  • "The role of the U.S. military in domestic U.S. law enforcement is limited by law. It must not be used in violation of those limits and I see little evidence that President Trump understands this fundamental premise."

Go deeper

White House coronavirus reports contradict public statements by Trump officials

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Senior Trump administration officials privately warned several states that spikes in coronavirus cases put them in high-risk "red zones" while publicly downplaying the threat of the virus, according to documents released by a special House committee overseeing the coronavirus response.

Why it matters: Democrats have long called for a national plan to respond to the coronavirus pandemic, while the White House has offered only guidance and insisted that states take the lead.

Prosecutors begin closing arguments in Chauvin trial

Steve Schleicher, an attorney for the prosecution in Derek Chauvin's trial, began closing arguments on Monday by describing in detail George Floyd's last moments — crying out for help and surrounded by strangers, as Chauvin pressed his knee into Floyd for nine minutes and 29 seconds.

Why it matters: The jury's verdict in Chauvin's murder trial, seen by advocates as one of the most crucial civil rights cases in decades, will reverberate across the country and have major implications in the fight for racial justice.

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
4 hours ago - Sports

European soccer is at war

Liverpool celebrating its 2019 Champions League victory. Photo: Nigel Roddis/Getty Images

Europe's biggest soccer clubs have established The Super League, a new midweek tournament that would compete with — and threaten the very existence of — the Champions League.

Why it matters: This new league, set to start in 2023, "would bring about the most significant restructuring of elite European soccer since the 1950s, and could herald the largest transfer of wealth to a small set of teams in modern sports history," writes NYT's Tariq Panja.