J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Mattis skipping hearing has House committee up in arms

Gen. James Mattis won't be attending a House Armed Services committee hearing today, despite earlier saying he'd be in attendance. Mattis needs a waiver law passed to allow him to serve at Defense. That requires 60 Senate votes, so he'll need Democratic votes.

Why it matters: If Mattis can get that waiver, he's in.

What to watch today: Senate Democrats could turn his confirmation hearing into a forum on the waiver. The big ticket item is civilian control of the military, so watch Kirsten Gillibrand, who Mattis met with last week. Will the dialogue spill over into the public?

Congress responds to intel leaks against Trump
  • House Intelligence Chair Devin Nunes has reached out to the intel community, per Politico.
  • Senate Intelligence Chair Richard Burr hinted they're also looking into it.

Intel agencies are hard at work tamping down this fire. DNI Director Clapper called Trump last night to express his "profound dismay," but said he doesn't think the leaks came from the intel community.

Obamacare repeal process goes to the House

Where people are already looking ahead to next steps. Ways and Means Chair Kevin Brady told Hugh Hewitt yesterday that budget reconciliation will kill Obamacare's medical device tax and the mandate to buy insurance.

What's left: Getting everyone on board. Republicans have the votes to pass a budget resolution on their own... if they can stay united. They'll face pressure to find a way to get some of the Obamacare replacement policy items within reconciliation, but will have to be careful not to trigger the Byrd Rule.

The big picture, via Axios Vitals:

"I think that we're all on the same sheet of music." — Mark Meadows, chair of the House Freedom Caucus, to reporters

Go deeper

Trump's new TikTok threat

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump said twice Monday that the U.S. Treasury would need to get a portion of the sale price of TikTok, as a condition of regulatory approval.

Why it matters: This is akin to extortion — the sort of thing you'd expect to hear on a wiretap, not from the White House in front of reporters.

Ford names James Farley as new CEO amid ongoing turnaround effort

James Hackett, left, is retiring as Ford CEO. Jim Farley, right, takes over Oct. 1. Photo: Ford

Ford announced Tuesday that James Farley will take over as its next CEO, replacing James Hackett, 65, who is retiring after three years in the job.

Why it matters: It leaves Farley to complete the company's ongoing turnaround effort. The transition will be that much harder as the industry tries to navigate the coronavirus-induced economic slowdown which shuttered Ford plants for two months on the eve of some of its most important vehicle launches.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Watch the full "Axios on HBO" interview with President Trump

In this episode of “Axios on HBO”, President Trump discusses his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, the upcoming election and much more with National Political Correspondent Jonathan Swan.

The interview was filmed on Tuesday, July 28 and aired Monday, Aug. 3 on HBO.