Aug 16, 2017

Hope Hicks expected to take over comms director duties

Patrick Semansky / AP

Hope Hicks is expected to take over the duties of the White House communications director on an interim basis, per a source familiar with the arrangements.The big picture: A lot of people think she is the only one who can do the job, and it shouldn't be ruled out that Hicks, who didn't actively seek the job, could last in the position on a more permanent basis.The dynamics at play, per multiple sources inside the White House and close to the president:The new regime: Under White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, there won't be much tolerance for separate press fiefdoms. Under the old regime, Hope was wholly separate from the press shop, serving in a first-among-equals role with extraordinary access to the president.Trump wants someone he knows in the job: Trump trusts Hicks to speak on his behalf in a way he'll never trust another member of the comms staff, viewing her almost as another daughter. Bringing in an outsider like Mike Dubke was a disaster, as the president never trusted him. What she learned on the trail: Hicks understands that Trump is the communications director, as the president is uniquely media focused. Unlike most presidents, Trump is in charge of his own messaging. How the White House feels about her: People who really know Hicks inside the White House say she is chronically underestimated due to her age and past career experience, but she gets Trump in a way others don't due to the experience of the grueling campaign.

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 1,014,673 — Total deaths: 52,973 — Total recoveries: 210,335Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 244,678 — Total deaths: 5,911 — Total recoveries: 9,058Map.
  3. 2020 updates: The Democratic National Committee said its July convention will be postponed until August because of the coronavirus. A federal judge declined to delay Wisconsin's April 7 primary election.
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  5. Public health latest: Anthony Fauci called for all states across the U.S. to issue stay-at-home orders. The FDA will allow blood donations from gay men after 3-month waiting period, citing "urgent need."
  6. Business latest: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said oil companies are eligible for aid from new lending programs the Federal Reserve is setting up, but not direct loans from his department.
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Mark Meadows considers new White House press secretary

Photos: Alyssa Farah, Defense Department; Stephanie Grisham, Alex Wong/Getty Images; Kayleigh McEnany, Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows has privately discussed bringing on Pentagon spokesperson Alyssa Farah or Trump campaign spokesperson Kayleigh McEnany as a new White House press secretary, two sources familiar with the talks tell Axios.

Why it matters: Meadows' start on Tuesday as Trump's new chief presents a chance to overhaul a press shop that's kept a low profile since President Trump ended the tradition of daily press secretary briefings.

CNN: Fauci advises all states issue stay-at-home orders

Dr. Anthony Fauci listens to President Trump speak during a briefing on April 1. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci recommended on Thursday that all states across the U.S. implement stay-at-home orders, at a CNN town hall.

Why it matters: The recommendation stands in contrast to President Trump's calls for "flexibility." Nearly 4o states have issued stay-at-home orders to promote social distancing as a way to combat the novel coronavirus — but the orders vary in strictness and duration.

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