Aug 16, 2017

If a top Trump aide leaves, it could 'start a run on the bank'

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

White House aides say Trump lashed out because he felt that the barrage of media criticism for his Saturday remarks was unfair and wrong — that he was fighting back, campaign style.

A veteran of several Republican White Houses told us: "His imprecise and inarticulate speech worked in the campaign. It isn't working as president. It didn't matter until today. Now, it really matters."

Top Republicans, including West Wing sources, tell us Trump can expect to pay a huge price for his self-indulgence, which came at at an event that was supposed to promote his infrastructure plan:

  • It was a tipping point for repulsed establishment Republicans, with Speaker Ryan, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and many others tweeting their dismay. GOP members and senators used Twitter last night to create real distance from the president.
  • It puts Trump's tortured staff in a bigger jam: How do they look their African American friends in the eye, and rationalize their support of Trump?
  • We're told close aides aren't shocked, but mainly dispirited.
  • Economic adviser Gary Cohn, the longtime #2 at Goldman Sachs, was standing next to Trump in anticipation of questions about infrastructure legislation. We're told Cohn was somewhere between appalled and furious.
  • A West Wing confidant tells us: "The danger for Trump now is that one senior resignation will start a run on the bank" — as soon as one top staffer quits, several others could follow.
  • White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, exhausted and dismayed, was shown in iconic TV shots with his head hanging during Trump's blast. He's building a more rigorous system for the staff, but it's not taking with the president.
  • Trump's legislative agenda will suffer: He doesn't have a single real friend in the Senate — 0 for 100. His lack of moral authority, and low approval ratings, will make everything harder.

Go deeper

Sanders: "While this campaign is coming to an end, our movement is not"

Addressing his supporters via livestream after suspending his campaign, Bernie Sanders congratulated Joe Biden on his presumptive victory in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary while making clear that his fight for progressive ideas will not end with his candidacy.

What he's saying: "While this campaign is coming to an end, our movement is not. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. reminded us that 'the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.' The fight for justice is what our campaign has been about. The fight for justice is what our movement remains about."

Fed temporarily lifts Wells Fargo's growth restrictions

Photo: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The Federal Reserve said Wednesday it will temporarily lift Wells Fargo’s growth restrictions, which were put in place following the bank’s customer abuse scandals.

Why it matters: The Fed’s only reason for lifting the cap is so Wells Fargo can dole out more loans to struggling small businesses as part of the government’s coronavirus aid package. Earlier this week, the bank said it could only lend a total of $10 billion, thanks to Fed restrictions that it can’t grow its assets beyond $1.95 trillion.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 1,450,343 — Total deaths: 83,568 — Total recoveries: 308,617Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 399,979 — Total deaths: 12,912 — Total recoveries: 22,539Map.
  3. Business updates: Roughly one-third of U.S. apartment renters didn't make April payments.
  4. Federal government latest: The U.S. has begun to see "glimmers of hope" despite its highest recorded number of deaths in 24 hours, Anthony Fauci said.
  5. Public health latest: Surgeon General Jerome Adams highlighted the disproportionate impact the illness is having on African-American communities.
  6. World latest: Indians look to Taiwan amid China's coronavirus missteps
  7. 🚌 Public transit: Systems across the country are experiencing ridership collapse, squeezed funding streams and slow recovery from the pandemic.
  8. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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