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Alex Brandon / AP

New York mag cover story, "Donald Trump Is Not Invited to the Wedding: Joe, Mika, and their star-crossed relationship with the president," by Olivia Nuzzi:

Scarborough and Brzezinski said the White House is misrepresenting their motivations, though they didn't rule out that Scarborough might be interested in running for president in the future. "It was never mentioned, never discussed, and anyone who ever said it is a liar," Scarborough said. "No ambiguity there at all. I'm happy right where I am with Mika, music, and 'Morning Joe'," which he calls his "three M's." Fulfilling a lifelong dream, Scarborough is now performing and recording dad-rock; his first EP, 'Mystified,' ... was released last month ...

Because Joe and Mika are perhaps the only masochists alive who operate on this schedule and spend this much time together (a 6–to–9 a.m. show; up as late as 10 p.m., crisscrossing the Northeast corridor for meetings, events, and speeches), it can feel as though they exist in their own private universe. Except they don't. Between them breathes a sprawling web of three ex-spouses and six children, ranging in age from 9 to 29 ...

It has historically been a preoccupation for them, then, to keep the matter of their relationship and its inconvenient origins out of the press, which they achieved with near-total success — something one New York tabloid veteran told me was astonishing and "a lesson for everyone" in how to "tame the gossips." "I think of the gossip world as extremely transactional, and they were very good at dealing with it," the veteran told me. "They are total operators: They weren't above trading one item for another. They took their own PR into their own hands."

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
27 mins ago - Economy & Business

The fragile recovery

Data: Department of Labor; Chart: Axios Visuals

The number of people receiving unemployment benefits is falling but remains remarkably high three weeks before pandemic assistance programs are set to expire. More than 1 million people a week are still filing for initial jobless claims, including nearly 300,000 applying for pandemic assistance.

By the numbers: As of Nov. 14, 20.2 million Americans were receiving unemployment benefits of some kind, including more than 13.4 million on the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) programs that were created as part of the CARES Act and end on Dec. 26.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
47 mins ago - Politics & Policy

The top candidates Biden is considering for key energy and climate roles

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has urged President-elect Joe Biden to nominate Mary Nichols, chair of California's air pollution regulator, to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: The reported push by Schumer could boost Nichol's chances of leading an agency that will play a pivotal role in Biden's vow to enact aggressive new climate policies — especially because the plan is likely to rest heavily on executive actions.

U.S. economy adds 245,000 jobs in November as recovery slows

Data: BLS; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. economy added 245,000 jobs in November, while the unemployment rate fell to 6.7% from 6.9%, the government said on Friday.

Why it matters: The labor market continues to recover even as coronavirus cases surge— though it's still millions of jobs short of the pre-pandemic level. The problem is that the rate of recovery is slowing significantly.